Story and photos by Darl DeVault
Retired and just now decompressing from a 39-year career teaching high school art in the Greater Tulsa area, Osage Nation member Clancy Gray says creating his own Native American art is truly rewarding at age 70.
Making that transition to full-time fine art modern master translated into more sales of his jewelry, paintings and sculptures the first weekend in June at the 33rd Red Earth Festival.
At the three-day event in downtown Oklahoma City at the Cox Convention Center Gray sold several of his important works and had his best show ever. Gray said the extra attention lavished upon his art by the board of directors of Red Earth naming him 2019 ‘Red Earth Honored One’ sparked a successful sales weekend.
“Being the Honored One this year afforded me so many privileges that it just seemed natural that more people wanted to buy my work,” Gray said. “We set it up with the t, who is also an Osage Nation member, mayor to stop by the booth after he and his family were a part of the parade Saturday morning. I showed his family around the booth and we talked for about 10 minutes. I was excited when he came back by my booth after looking around for an hour and bought a painting of a bison his son really liked.”
That Honored One status, after Gray has exhibited at the Festival for 32 of its 33 years, put his art out front, in an expanded double-size booth nearest to the entrance to the juried art show.
Gray said that even though he was halfway across the state from his Broken Arrow home, his two sons, his brother and sister and many friends coming by or helping made him feel more at home than ever at Red Earth. The Honored One recognition is for a Native master visual artist whose support of Indian art has been substantial throughout his life.
Gray entered four items in the juried art portion of the show and collected two ribbons for top three placings. And again, in the truly rewarding vein, one of his first-place sculptures from three Red Earths back sold on Saturday.
Owners of one of Oklahoma City’s prominent CPA firms, T.C. Burgin, stopped by the booth and purchased Scout, a heroic size bronze horned toad, for the new office building they will open in the fall.
Osage Nation member and bronze casting legend John Free Jr. cast several of the horned toads at his Bronze Horse Foundry in Pawhuska, Okla. Free is famous for capturing the artist’s real goal in their work by applying some of the most skilled patinas in the crucible industry.
Gray said Free’s ability to create a life-like patina to the bronze sculpture brings his horned toad Scout to life. He explains Scout’s name in that the horned toad represents what Native Americans would often use to help locate their game while hunting. During a hunt, if they were not finding their prey, they would pick up a horned toad and say a prayer. When the hunter put the horned toad down, and it scurried off, that was the direction they would start in to continue their hunt.
“It is a privilege to get to work with John Free and his group at the Bronze Horse Foundry.” Gray said. “I always say that sculpting success is a two-part process, the artist who first creates it in clay and the foundry master who duplicates it in bronze for them.”
Gray’s traditional and contemporary influenced jewelry reflects Gray’s fondness for vivid color, texture, and asymmetrical design. The silver jewelry is often the most collected of his work, and leads to the most commissions. This nationally collected master silversmith has won many awards in exhibitions and museum shows.
Gray’s paintings sold well at Red Earth as well. His building up depth from the canvas in the impasto style has elevated his status in the Native American art world. He uses a palette knife to apply vivid acrylics, giving the paintings intensity that allows light to animate the focus of his work. This signature style allows Gray to create a modern ruggedness. He says he works to celebrate the light’s colorful and reflective sparkle built up in focused areas.
By creating a ceramic glaze depth with skillful repetitious palette strokes of the water-based acrylic paint, his paintings are dynamic and unique. Those high-gloss highlights have a richness of color that captures the eye, whether portrait or figures, still life, or landscape.
In retirement Gray says he now has more time to reflect on the achievements of his art students. He taught in Tulsa at McLain High School for 17 years and East Central High School for 18 years. He finished his teaching career at Edison High School after three years.
The insightful artist and teacher insisted his students master the basics of composition and design. He then encouraged them to create original works, rather than just copying ideas or pictures they saw. Gray has guided the beginnings of many art careers. More than 5,000 students graduated from his 39-year influence at those three schools.
“I tried to model strong basic skills, so as they learned those skills it would take them anywhere they wanted to go as artists.” Gray said. “Our schools supported them so the best and brightest could go on to win many art competitions in the state and nationally.”
Gray also made the students’ academic progress an important part of their art educations. The result was a highly productive teacher who helped many students receive college scholarships and awards
“We had student artists earn important scholarships, and become award-winners in art competitions and students whose work is now shown in galleries,” Gray said. “We had high expectations, we really wanted them to grow as much as possible as artists along the way.”
Gray says his passion for teaching and creating a nurturing educational setting for all his students was a given. After his double major in art and physical education, Gray went on to earn a master’s degree in education at the University of Central Oklahoma.
During his long career he also coached boys and girls soccer, boys baseball, girls softball, boys and girls cross-country and boys and girls swimming.
Gray says that one of the best features of retirement is the satisfaction of seeing how his many students’ talents evolve. He enjoys following his former students’ progress as they adapt to create great art in their growing careers.
He says that spark of excellence often stimulates him to keep up with his own art career. No longer constrained to a teacher’s schedule, he has found that requests to put on exhibits have come more often now.
“Being named 2019 Honored One at Red Earth has been one of the highlights of my recent retirement,” Gray said. “I had not danced in 35 years and was proud to dance in step as part of the procession at the beginning of the dance contests in my role as this year’s Honored One.”
Story and photos by Taprina Milburn, Communications Coordinator for RSVP of Central Oklahoma
When Linus Affolder, 89, lost his wife, Carolyn, of 47 years in 2013, he said the grief was like going through a dark tunnel.
“I could be sitting on the patio and break down. Things would just trigger the tears,” the Oklahoma City resident explained. “I wanted her back. She was my foundation and strength; my right-hand person.”
Carolyn had been sick with leukemia for many years and as the disease progressed, the couple traveled to Houston’s MD Anderson Cancer Center almost every weekend for treatments. During those years, the Affolders had to step away from all of the volunteer activities they did individually and as a couple to concentrate on Carolyn’s health.
The loss was overwhelming when Carolyn died, Linus said, and he tried to manage the grief and loneliness on his own for as long as he could.
“A lady from church who had lost a son told me about a grief program at Christ the King Catholic Church that helped her, and so I started going. It was a four-month program and we met on Thursdays and learned about the phases of grief and shared our stories with one another. One of the things that stood out for me was the suggestion that getting back to volunteering could help in my grieving.”
So, Linus picked up where he left off years ago as a volunteer with Britvil Food Pantry in north Oklahoma City, an opportunity he found through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Central Oklahoma, a program that matches seniors 55 and older with volunteer opportunities in the community.
“That was the starting point for me to get back out and be around people,” he said. “It revitalized me because I have people that I look forward to seeing and a weekly obligation to help others.”
There are no components of our life that grief doesn’t affect, said RSVP of Central Oklahoma board member and Licensed Professional Counselor Marla Mercer-Cole, who has a private counseling practice and leads grief groups through Mercer Adams Funeral Service.
“Grief affects us emotionally, physically, and spiritually,” she said. “There is a huge paradigm shift when we lose a loved one, especially a spouse. It leaves you shaken. You don’t feel of much value any longer and don’t know what your purpose is moving forward. I encourage the people in the groups that I lead that although we will always miss that person, we do begin to adapt physically and emotionally.”
She said that volunteering often helps with that process and has on many occasions referred her senior clients or members of her grief groups to contact RSVP of Central Oklahoma or other organizations to find out about volunteer opportunities.
“We have the capacity to be enlarged as humans to have compassion and empathy because of what we’ve been through,” she said. “Doing something altruistically for someone helps others but also gives you a break from the heaviness of grief. It helps with connections and making friends and reminds us that if we are still here, we have a purpose.”
She also encourages grievers to surround themselves with positivity and look for things for which to be grateful. Research shows that gratitude changes brain chemistry and complaining and negativity does, too, she said.
And last, read as much as you can about grief because knowledge is power, and if you are ready, join a grief group.
“Some people who are grieving worry that something is wrong with them until they are in a grief group and hear others who share some of the same things you are going through,” she said.
Today, Linus is involved with several volunteer opportunities each week and joins friends at three church-sponsored senior luncheons each month.
“Pushing myself is what I have to do,” he explains, “but I feel a difference when I get out with people and my friend base is enlarging.”
To learn more about ways to volunteer in your community, call the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Central Oklahoma, at 405.605.3110 or visit rsvpokc.org.
Story and photos by Darl DeVault
Oklahoma Senior Games cycling competitors gathered Sunday, September 16 last year at the Lake Stanley Draper Marina to stage for their either one lap or two lap races starting north around the lake. Many of the 55 cyclists who started racing at 8 a.m. in a mass start travelled from out of state to qualify for the 2019 National Senior Games in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
“Oklahoma offers many of these Texas riders racing today another chance to qualify for nationals,” said Kathleen Fitzgerald, OSG state director. “It is surprising at first, how far they will travel to qualify for nationals, until you talk to them and realize these are really competitive older folks who want to stay fit year-round as cyclists.”
The 22K and 44K road races drew the most contestants last year at Draper, while the 5K and 10K time trial events that started at noon and 1 p.m. saw many of the same road racers participate.
The 22K course, one clockwise lap around Draper, saw the group stay together. They finished almost together on the long downhill that sweeps from the south to the finish near the road that leads into the marina. Many of the racers continued for another lap around Draper to contest the 44K category.
The 40 and over bicycle racers were hoping to place first through fourth place at last year’s games so they could qualify for the 2019 National Senior Games in New Mexico. Those games just took place June 14-25.
Many of the same racers, trying to qualify for Nationals, lined up again at noon or 1 p.m. to start an individual 5K or 10K time trail on an out and back loop north on the lake road. The cyclists, many riding specialty time trial bikes, began their race against the clock in one-minute intervals. Starting order was from youngest to oldest starting with males and ending with females.
The events observed U.S.A Cycling rules and went off without any wrecks or mishaps throughout the day.
In the time trial events, riders were not allowed to draft (take pace behind another rider) closer than 25 meters ahead, or two meters to the side. If anyone had broken this rule, they would have received a time penalty.
Both road race distances and the two time trail distances offered dual opportunity for qualifying for nationals. Qualifying in any event at the 2018 event earned the athletes the right to compete in either or both their respective events at Nationals.
2019’s events for 40+ cyclists will take place Saturday, September 21 at the lake with a similar schedule as last year. Entry Deadline is September 7 this year and staging will again be at the marina at 8301 SE 104th. Street.
Divisions will be contested in recumbent, Paralympic Upright, Paralympic Handbike, Paralympic Tandem and Paralympic Tricycle if enough racers enter those categories,
Racers 40+ can go online to okseniorgames.com for more information or call (405) 821-1500.
In a recent article published by the Harvard Medical School’s Harvard Health online, bicycling is described as providing important physical benefits. First, it is an aerobic workout, which for seniors is the heart of any health plan, pun intended. Cycling, therefore, is good for their heart, brain and blood vessels.
Cycling is easy on joints, Dr. Safran Norton says in the article. He says that unlike walking, cycling is good for anyone with joint paint or age-related stiffness.
Bicyclists use their largest muscle group, the legs, which helps them build muscle while toning other muscles needed to keep them balanced and steer the bicycle.
These benefits carry over into everyday activities while helping cyclists build bone density, says Dr. Norton.
Greater Fort Lauderdale, Florida will host the 2021 National Senior Games, the largest multi-sport championship event in the world for adults 50 and over. More than 10,000 qualified athletes, accompanied by an estimated 15,000 visitors, are expected to compete in 20 medal sports in 2021.
The National Senior Games, begun in 1987, has 54 affiliated qualifying member games in North America promoting wellness and active, healthy lifestyles for older adults.
by Bobby Anderson,
Most at Norman Regional Health System know Eugene Brown. The Engineering Services employee usually shows up shortly after getting a call that a piece of equipment isn’t working quite right.
But few at NRH know his mother, 91-year-old Felicidad S. Jones. That didn’t stop them from coming to her aid during the family’s time of need.
Twenty-two people gave blood in honor of Jones during the hospital’s most recent blood drive.
At the blood drive, donors had the choice to dedicate their donation to Jose, who was in need of platelets.
On May 14, Jose wasn’t feeling well and had some chest pain so she was taken to Norman Regional HealthPlex’s Emergency Department. They found her platelets to be dangerously low, somewhere near the 5,000s when normal range starts at 150,000.
She was transferred to Norman Regional Hospital to be admitted and begin receiving platelets.
Brown, who is also a member of the health system’s Blood Drive Committee, contacted Trish Crow, co-chair of the committee, before the blood drive on May 22 to ask if they could tell donors of his mom’s story and ask if they’d like to give in her honor. Crow was happy to oblige.
“Norman Regional Blood Drive Committee is always happy to help our healers. The May blood drive was no exception,” Crow said. “Norman Regional healers know the significance of their donations; however, it was even more heartfelt to have a family member as a designee. Supporting each other and saving lives one donation at a time.”
Brown said his mother is completing follow up blood tests, but she’s home now and is doing well.
“She’s a very sweet lady and she has so much love to give. We’re trying to just enjoy our time with her,” he said. “I’m really thankful for Trish Crow and the Oklahoma Blood Institute. My family is blessed to have Norman Regional and all the people who work here. They are all truly caring and professional.”
Brown not only volunteers his time to the Blood Drive Committee, but gives blood as often as he can. He has been donating since February 1996 and has given 65 times. Through his donations, he has donated 23 gallons and saved 186 lives. He often gives double, which means he donates double the red cells than a regular whole blood donation. While giving the red blood cells, he receives back his plasma, white blood cells and platelets. Double donations take longer than regular donations, and someone who donates double is not eligible to donate for 112 days rather than 56 days. There are height and weight requirements to donate double.
“I know people need blood and I always try to give because I think, ‘you never know, one day you or your family may need it.’ Sure enough, my mom needs it now. I want to help people, and I know by donating at Norman Regional the blood will go directly to those in our health system who need it,” Brown said. “Giving blood and giving back to the health system and this community is my obligation. I love Norman Regional, I love this community, and I know they are always there for my family and me.” “I’m blessed to be here and my family is grateful for Norman Regional helping my mom.”
According to the Oklahoma Blood Institute, every two seconds, someone needs blood, yet less than 10 percent of those eligible donate.
Blood donors with Oklahoma Blood Institute know they are, literally, saving the lives of their friends, family and co-workers, some who may have no idea they will need blood in an urgent situation. One blood donation can save up to three peoples’ lives.
“Summer is a particularly challenging time for the blood supply,” said John Armitage, M.D., Oklahoma Blood Institute president and CEO. “People go out of town, and are busy with activities, and get out of their normal routine of giving blood. We encourage healthy adults to spare just an hour of their time to save the lives of their neighbors.”
Only ten percent of people in the United States who are eligible to give blood actually do. Blood donation takes just about an hour, and each donation can save the lives of up to three patients. Whole blood can be donated every 56 days. Platelet donations can be made as often as every 7 days, up to 24 times a year.
by Bobby Anderson, Staff Writer
For a few short weeks this summer, children with disabilities from across the region will gather in Norman to celebrate just being kids.
It’s a highly-anticipated annual affair carried out at JD McCarty Center for Children with Developmental Disabilities and it’s known as Camp ClapHans.
And for registered nurses Andrea Gunter and Terisa Denwalt it will be a time to witness pure joy.
Last year was Gunter’s first experience with camp. She had worked part-time at the residence houses before getting the invite to come down to the onsite camp facility next to the center’s lake.
“It’s different and there’s just so much diversity,” Gunter said. “It’s like a whole different thing than I’ve ever done before. It’s a lot of fun. It’s more of a relaxed environment, the kids are here and everybody is having a good time.”
“You’re just here to give meds and help everything go smoothly.”
A military wife, Gunter was no stranger to moving around the country. She worked in a lot of different types of nursing settings.
After taking a year off she started looking around for another setting.
“I get to work part-time and it’s just great,” Gunter said. “Every time I get a job in nursing it’s like this is my favorite job.”
Denwalt is working her first camp this summer. Working orthopedic oncology for 20 years she went into schools two years ago to help with special needs children for a change.
“Going through nursing school 22 years ago we did a class project and we all went to volunteer for the Special Olympics and I just kept doing it after that,” Denwalt said. “I’ve always kind of been involved and thought I would end up in this area and then the opportunity just came up.”
Children have always had that pull.
“I just love playing with the kids and talking to them,” Denwalt said. “There’s no negative feelings out there. It’s a total positive. You don’t ever hear about people in this line of work complaining about their job like they do everywhere else.”
Gunter has already given her some pointers. But the main thing to remember is just have fun.
“It’s an enjoyable experience because the kids bring so much joy to you that you just want to try and give them as much joy back,” Gunter said. “You’re here as the nurse and in a lot of nursing settings in the hospital your patients know they need the nurse. They don’t need us. They’re here to have fun.”
Gunter enjoys watching the counselors getting kids ready each morning while she’s doing her med pass.
“They are so good and it’s so fortunate the kids have these opportunities,” Gunter said. “In the school system they may stand out or feel different a little bit. Here they’re just kids. Some kids come back every year so you have kids that see each other every summer that have been coming for years. They’re just so happy to see each other. It’s sweet.”
Marketing Director Greg Gaston said historically camp registration is complete within hours of opening.
Gaston said years ago parents began downloading the camp registration forms from the center’s website and completing them in advance.
“Then they’ll send it in at 12:01 a.m. the day registration opens,” Gaston said with a chuckle.
Camp ClapHans is a residential summer camp for kids with disabilities ages 8 to 18 and is an outreach program of the McCarty Center.
Five camp sessions are offered each summer. The camp is located on the center’s campus and features two cabins and an activities building that are located next to an 11-acre lake.
Activities for campers include archery, arts and crafts, canoeing, fishing, horseback riding, talent shows and swimming.
Each camper is assigned to a counselor with the camper/counselor ratio of 1:1.
Staff members are typically university students working toward a degree in allied health-care fields (physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology); special and general education; outdoor recreation; nutrition; and other related fields. Prior to camp, staff members attend training.
The camp opened in 2013 and is named in honor of Sammy Jack Claphan, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and an Oklahoma native. Sammy played football for the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a degree in special education. Afterward, he played in the NFL for the Cleveland Browns and the San Diego Chargers. After retiring from football, Sammy returned to Oklahoma and became a coach and a special education teacher. Sammy died in 2001 at the age of 45.
For Denwalt, the expectations for her first camp experience are simple.
“Something to come back to every year really,” Denwalt said. “I want it to be something I enjoy and they enjoy me and take a little break from the hardcore stuff.”
Photography and Text by Terry “Travels with Terry” Zinn email@example.com
Dodge City has long been on this Okie’s bucket list. It took this long to get there as its really not on the way to anywhere, which is good because Dodge City has modern conveniences yet has still preserved and promoted its popular western romance of the 1870’s.
Dodge City has developed its own catch phrase: “Get Into Dodge.”
Of course that is an ironic take on the wild west phrase of a lawman to an outlaw of, “Get Out Of Dodge.” I say, referring to one of the City’s heroes, “Wyatt Earp Never Had It So Good.” This popped into my brain during my trip’s final dining experience at Prime on the Nine restaurant, while reflecting on the good experiences had in Dodge.
Overlooking a golf course, the Prime on the Nine restaurant, offers the highest of service and food to informed tourists and locals. www.primeonthenine.com
If you have followed my articles for some time, you know I like the traditional dining experience of Martini, and perfectly cooked tender local steak to medium plus. The Prime Rib, risotto, tasty goat cheese starter and the five star tiramiso, were a real treats. This elegant venue with a window table, filled my requirements to perfection and the perfect closing meal to my 3 day visit to Dodge City. Truly Wyatt Earp in his short stay in Dodge, “Never Had It So Good.”
Another outstanding dining experience is the Central Station Bar & Grill, www.centralstationdc.net where you have the option of dining in an authentic 1950 railway car. With a salute to the rails that opened up Dodge City to the cattle markets, its only proper to order a steak as well. I devoured a rib eye steak, side salad, sweet potato fries with onion rings. With four kinds of steaks to be mesquite grilled or with other choices including chicken varieties there is something to satisfy your western appetite. Despite being there on a very popular night, the service and quality of my meal did not suffer. To top off the entree the hot apple cobbler delight dripping with caramel and ice cream was an exquisite and unexpected finale. This venue also offers a dance floor and sports bar amenities as well as guest entertainers.
For a quick casual fix, the homemade pizza while you wait is offered at Dodge City Brewing, www.dodgecitybrewing.com, but closed on Monday and Tuesdays. To hear how vodka and gin is distilled, visit the Boot Hill Distillery, www.boothilldistillery.com with tours and tastings available. More interesting than the process is the building’s history and location on top of Boot Hill cemetery. The Vodka is mild and mixes well while the Gin is heavy on botanicals sold at a premium price.
You must save time to tour the Boot Hill Museum, www.boothill.org/, where a large new museum building is in progress. http://www.boothill.org/construction-update The Museum hosts an extensive gift shop with artifacts and memorabilia upstairs. The best part of admission is being able to walk into a replicate of the Old Dodge City wooden store fronts, including the Long Branch Saloon, complete with bar and piano. Other stores offer remembrance of shops that might have been in old Dodge City on front street. Walking back and forth on the wooden board walk you might feel a moment in old west time.
A walking tour of the town takes you by many of the bronze statues remembering many celebrities made famous by the Myth of Dodge city. Of course there is Wyatt Earp and even Matt Dillon.
I drove up from Oklahoma City on what is casually called the Northwest passage on state highway 270 and 183. While the online map suggested a drive time of 4 and 1/2 hours its more like about 6 hours,but worth it for the destination and a chance to see the unspoiled landscape of western Oklahoma, accented by a few wind farms. A mirage when first approaching Dodge City you see a large hill covered in black. At first you wonder what vegetation or mineral causes the blackness, and soon you see it is a massive panorama of black cattle, the prime resource of Dodge. All of this can be explained if you take the trolley tour, which also goes through the remaining inhabited buildings of Fort Dodge. Also you can learn about the founding of Dodge, the Santa Fe Trail, the cattle industry and the impact of the railroad.
I happily stayed and the conveniently located Best Western North Edge Inn, where my first story room had an exit just feet away from my parked car. Of course they offer all the amenities you expect from a Best Western including the free morning breakfast to start your sight seeing off right.
And you too may come away from Dodge never having had it so good.
So much to see and do in Dodge City so please check out more at: http://www.visitdodgecity.org
Do you have cramping in your legs while walking or at rest? Is it difficult for you to walk long distances? Do you have restless, cold or pale legs or feet? Do you have hair loss in the lower legs, infections or wounds that take a long time to heal or fungal infections of the toenails? You may have peripheral artery disease (PAD).
Peripheral artery disease is the narrowing or hardening of the arteries that carry blood to your limbs. Arteries are the blood vessels that carry oxygen rich blood to all the tissues in the body. Arteries can develop plaque buildup on their walls as we all get older. The plaques are generally a combination of cholesterol, fat, scar tissue and blood clots. Calcium deposits may also develop. This plaque progressively blocks blood flow to the limbs. In the legs, this reduced blood flow can cause cramping and pain.
Men and women over the age of 50 are most prone to peripheral arterial disease. Incidence becomes increasingly common with each year of life – men are affected earlier, but women catch up quickly. People with diabetes, high blood pressure, smokers, people with high cholesterol, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and genetic predisposition are at increased risk for developing this disease.
Diagnosis is determined with careful history and physical exam of an individual. Simple screening methods can include blood pressure measurement of the wrist and ankle or an ultrasound exam. In some instances a CT, MRI or arteriogram exam may be required.
Symptoms or consequences of the disease include pain, cramping in the legs with exercise or movement. Burning pain, numbness, tingling in the feet, and wounds or infections that are slow to heal or do not heal may also be present. Pale, blue, or cold feet may also be a sign of PAD.. If peripheral artery disease is left untreated or treated too late, it can lead to amputation of the toes, feet or legs.
PAD is preventable!
* Smoking – never start, or if you still smoke – QUIT!
* Diabetes – it’s very important to work with your primary healthcare professional to control your diabetes with a combination of medication, healthy diet, lifestyle modification and weight loss.
* Cholesterol – manage with medication, healthy diet, and exercise
* Overweight – manage with diet modification, weight loss, regular exercise
This disease can be treated surgically or with a minimally invasive procedure through an IV placed into the artery of the wrist, arm, foot, or groin. Treatment can include angioplasty or atherectomy. Angioplasty is the use of special balloons of various sizes that are used to expand an artery to its normal size. The balloon is removed after treatment is complete. Atherectomy removes plaque from the artery wall similar to a “roto-rooter” removing buildup from pipes. This can be achieved with different devices which incorporate cutting blades or lasers. Another method of treatment includes placement of stents which are used in select situations to expand an artery to its normal size and hold it open with a “scaffold”. Stents are permanent implants.
This can be treated by select cardiologists, vascular surgeons and interventional radiologists. If you feel that you may be at risk for PAD, or have some of the symptoms, you should consult your primary healthcare professional to screen for it, and to discuss treatment options.
You are also welcome to call our Vascular Center to schedule a prompt and free consultation. You can contact us at 405-608-8884. We are a specialized center staffed with highly experienced professionals, including a Vascular/Interventional physician, dedicated to treating PAD on an outpatient basis using the latest proven technology to combat this epidemic.
Dr. C.V Ramana is a vascular and interventional radiologist with more than 20 years of practice experience. He has expertise in all areas of vascular and interventional radiology. Dr. Ramana has a Ph.D from Yale University and MD from CWRU in Cleveland, Ohio where he subsequently completed his fellowship in Vascular and Interventional Radiology at the Cleveland Clinic.
Kenneth Wyatt just celebrated his 80th birthday on June 4. What makes this milestone even more special is knowing he underwent a lung transplant on
Jan. 10, 2019, at the age of 79.
The staff at INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center held a surprise party for Wyatt and hope to have more of these celebrations in the future.
“People should not see age as a deterrent to seeking an organ transplant,” says Mark Rolfe, M.D., co-medical director of lung transplantation and advanced pulmonary disease management at the INTEGRIS Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute in Oklahoma City. “We look at physiologic age, not chronologic age. The old way of thinking was you can only transplant people 65 and younger, but there’s a lot of 75-year-olds who are otherwise healthy and still young at heart.”
About a year and a half ago, Wyatt suddenly started to experience shortness of breath. “It came on really quickly,” remembers Wyatt. “I just couldn’t get enough air. I felt claustrophobic, like I constantly needed more oxygen.”
He was diagnosed at another facility with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and was told his condition was terminal and he was simply too old for a transplant. Thankfully, Wyatt persisted and found another physician who immediately referred him to the INTEGRIS Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute.
“I was anxious to meet Mr. Wyatt,” says Alan Betensley, M.D., co-medical director of lung transplantation and advanced pulmonary disease management at INTEGRIS Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute. “We ran some tests and concluded he was healthy despite his pulmonary fibrosis, so we felt he would be an ideal candidate for transplant, regardless of his age.”
Wyatt was placed on the lung transplant list Nov. 15, 2018. “I hear some people wait years for a transplant, so I was surprised to get ‘the call’ less than two months later,” admits Wyatt. “I woke up in the Intensive Care Unit and everyone told me I did great. I was out of the hospital within a week.”
“Kenneth did remarkably well through the entire process. His oxygen level is back up to 98 percent and he is currently undergoing rehabilitation to regain his strength and endurance,” Betensley says. “I have no doubt he will make a full recovery. He is proof positive that age is relative.”
Wyatt says the experience has given him a new outlook on life and a brand-new purpose for living. “The way I figure it, is God gave me this condition for a reason. And maybe that reason is to help raise the age limit for transplant consideration. INTEGRIS took a chance on me when most other institutions wouldn’t, and I will be forever grateful for that.”
“I could still have 20 years ahead of me,” Wyatt predicts. “My mom is still living at 104 and my grand-dad lived to be 101 … so there’s a lot of life left in me.”