My dear friend Brian Jahn recently had his leg amputated, but more shocking than what most would consider a loss, he views as a possible upgrade!
He has had ongoing pain from an injured knee and opposite side hip problem, which caused other complications: weight gain, diabetes, foot problems, water retention, heart complications, and various hospitalizations. He has dealt with many procedures and the side effects caused by them. One being his right foot which became so painful and swollen he was admitted to the hospital. Only to discover upon the doctor’s attempts to repair with stents and procedures to increase blood flow, his foot had an untreated old infection due to doctors misdiagnosing the cause of his discomfort which now was irreparably damaged. The foot issue was thought to be a diabetic complication, not a treatable infection as they now discovered.
After procedure to increase blood flow
Brian has always been an active guy and so with his initial injuries, he rapidly put on weight thus adding to the stress on his body and adding to his inability to reverse his conditions. Still it didn’t stop him from many of the things he loved. Although he stopped surfing, riding his Harley was something he did even though it was difficult. Most amazing to me was his unending quest for new experiences: he wrote a book, It's Time for Byron . about his travels to Australia, took various classes, joined groups, clubs, and was always up for checking out a blues gig or some other event. More active than most of us who aren’t limited by mobility and have to use two orthopedic canes!
He makes things happen, gets people involved and loves life! His delight in sharing the latest The Surfer’s Journal because it contains photos of Brian front and center in an article about his longtime friend and photographer Peter Green. Then, without a hitch he shows off his new stump. Could be he hasn’t been weened of the Dilaudid yet, but really, I know he’s just a positive person.
Close up of his leg before surgery
Most of all he is the guy you could count on to show up. I moved three times in one year – he said he would help each time. Even though it seemed impossible he could be of much help, indeed he lugged stuff around, and we moved dressers, beds - everything! When I needed to store some stuff, sure enough he found room (next to someone else’s boxes) in his garage.
When his son, wife and their two kids came to visit – he hoped they would stay at his one bedroom place, and somehow made it work. They all loved every minute of the time.
This is a common theme in his life, helping others. But like many who do so much for others, they don’t ever seem to need help themselves. Before starting this campaign, I asked his permission to confirm he was alright with sharing his plight and receiving help. I know he takes pride in his independence, because of this I knew from his clear affirmation that he truly needs it. His amputation surgery only a few days in the past and having gained clarity by the immense decrease in pain from removal of the diseased lower leg, he was learning about all the challenges and adaptations he has to face. There are many and it is a bit overwhelming.
three days after amputation surgery
If all the good deeds and smiles he has brought to me and many others could be traded in for the support he needs now I can only imagine he will be able to face this new challenge and recover quickly. Praying he quickly regains mobility so his vital energy can continue to be spread to all he encounters.
This is a life changing event and any support, visits, good wishes, or assistance with things he can’t yet do for himself are greatly appreciated. Maybe you know of a good resource to help him adapt.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and please share Brian’s plight with your friends and family.
His foot before amputationPut this one at the end because it's a hard one to look at. Not too many options.
- Peter Green
- Peter Green
- Paul Farrell
Organizer and beneficiary
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