John Henderson is no stranger to trauma and healing. The Bronze Star with valor recipient has only recently been able to discuss the events that took place during a battle on The Black Virgin Mountain in Vietnam in 1968. He escaped via helicopter from the 300 VCs that night, but 20 of his fellow soldiers were not as lucky. So, when he needed a doctor to help repair his knee, he looked for someone he could trust, that he could talk to. He found that person in Dr. Nicholas Callahan of the Cleveland Hip and Knee Institute.
The former paratrooper’s right knee was simply worn out from arthritis. He was using a cane and dragging his knee around. So, in early 2022 he met with Dr. Callahan to discuss his options.
John was reluctant to meet with another surgeon. He had his left knee repaired in 2017 by another doctor and that experience did not go well. During his surgical recovery John developed a blood clot in his lung that nearly killed him. The near-death experience brought up feelings of trauma. He was reluctant to face another surgery, but he knew he had to have his other knee repaired.
When he found Dr. Callahan at the NOMS office in Sandusky, he had “never met a nicer man.” “His bedside manner is super, and it is hard to explain, but I instantly put all of my trust in him,” said John.
When Dr. Callahan told John his office was moving and hour away to Beachwood, Ohio. It was not even a question whether he would follow him there. “He is the one I wanted to face this surgery with,” he stated.
John’s knee replacement surgery went perfectly well. “I walked in and out of surgery the same day.” One month after the surgery, John had still not experienced actual pain, just mild irritation, and he only needed to take pain medication for a few days. After four physical therapy sessions, he was back to driving his truck and building shelves in his garage.
“I show everyone my knee. People find it strange when I lift my pants leg to show them how small my scar is, but I don’t care,” he said.
For someone who is “used to doing things the hard way,” he found a simple solution in choosing Dr. Callahan as his knee surgeon.
“I care for each and every one of my patients with the utmost respect and consideration, but it is especially important to me to extend that for our veterans. So, when JH came to me in need of assistance, I could not have tried harder to show my gratitude for his exemplary service. He is a true American hero and we are all indebted for his sacrifice and selflessness. It is my honor and privilege to be able to give back in any way, no matter how small that is, to such an incredible person and patriot,” says Dr. Callahan.
For more information about John’s courageous endeavors during the Vietnam War, you can visit the Ohio Military Hall of Fame where he was inducted in 2014. You can learn more about Dr. Callahan at clevelandhipandknee.com, or make an appointment by calling his Beachwood office at 800-HIP-7485.