Karl Gibbs of Harrison has never been one to sit around. The 61-year old Army vet enjoys getting out and throwing the football around with his 8-year old granddaughter, playing horseshoes with friends from his apartment complex, and walking to his favorite locales throughout Harrison. Anything to get out and be active.
However, in summer of 2016, Karl began experiencing excruciating pain and cramping in right calf whenever he walked more than a few hundred feet, making even a short jaunt to the convenience store right across the street a near impossibility.
“I’ve always felt why drive when you can walk and enjoy a nice summer or fall day,” says Karl, “but the pain got to be so bad when I walked that it almost brought me to tears.”
With his right leg failing him and being unable to do the activities he enjoys, Karl knew he needed medical help. Karl visited his doctor for an examination to see what was going on with his leg and was promptly referred to Vascular Health Clinics in Midland.
At the clinic, Karl met with Dr. Omar P. Haqqani, MD, Chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery. After conducting an examination and running some tests, Dr. Haqqani informed Karl that he was suffering from peripheral vascular disease – a narrowing of the blood vessels due to a plaque build-up on the inner walls.
When plaque builds up, blood flow becomes restricted or completely blocked, depriving muscles of much needed oxygen and nutrients.
Karls’ condition was likely due to his nearly five decades of smoking – a habit that Karl has recently quit at the recommendation of Dr. Haqqani.
“The doctor told me that if I didn’t quit, I would just get worse even if they performed a procedure on me. So I had my last cigarette in early September,” says Karl.
Dr. Haqqani recommended that Karl have the clogged arteries in his legs cleaned out via a non-invasive outpatient procedure.
“The doctor explained that he was going to basically ‘roto-router’ my leg. I might feel a little tenderness in the leg for several days, but I would be walking pain-free after that,” says Karl.
True to his word, in mid-August Dr. Haqqani performed angioplasty and also inserted a stent in Karl’s leg. Karl was walking with ease within a few days and had no residual soreness after about a week.
“I feel about as healthy now as I’ve felt in my entire life,” says Karl. “I’m glad I had it done. I can walk anywhere I want to now and my leg isn’t killing me.”
Now over two months removed from his procedure, Karl is throwing plenty of footballs to his granddaughter, the horseshoe pit has seen its share of ringers, and Karl can be regularly seen walking to his favorite spots in Harrison.
“I can’t say enough about the entire staff at the clinic,” says Karl. “They were all so nice and caring. They did a wonderful job.”