Surgical interventions keep local barber on both feet
After barbering for 50-plus years, Numon Johnson was no stranger to sore legs and feet. But one day in 2001, the pain in his right leg became unusually intense. When five aspirin didn’t help, he drove to Reid Hospital emergency department, where doctors quickly discovered that an aneurysm (balloon-like bulge) in the artery behind his right knee had showered blood clots throughout his leg.
Without immediate surgery to restore circulation, Numon was likely to lose his right foot. “Ideally, I would have repaired the damaged artery, but there wasn’t time—I used an artificial graft so that we could get blood circulating again quickly,” says Michael J. Buckmaster, a vascular surgeon at Reid. “The other challenge was to break up the clots in Numon’s leg, a complex task that took several hours.”
The surgery was a success and Numon returned to work as his barbershop. Several years later, in 2009, he was vacationing in Florida with his wife when the leg pain returned. “A nice doctor at a hospital in Delray Beach told me that the graft had failed but a vascular surgeon there could fix it,” Numon says. “I said no — I have a doctor at home I trust.” He said, ‘Well, you better start driving right away and make sure your route doesn’t take you too far from an emergency department. That’s how serious it was.”
Numon hurried home and saw Dr. Buckmaster right away. Surgery took place three days later. This time, Dr. Buckmaster was able to create a bypass for the damaged artery by using one of Numon’s own veins.
Eventually, Numon also would need surgery on his left leg for painful varicose veins. In 2011, Dr. Buckmaster performed radiofrequency ablation to treat those. “I am very grateful for Dr. Buckmaster’s expertise and concern,” says Johnson. “I’m impressed by everything he has done to help me, and I have complete confidence in him.”
For more information or to make a referral, please contact our office at (765) 962-6053.