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Every Year, Doctor Walks Jingle Bell Run with His Patients

Baihly Warfield
Updated: December 02, 2019 10:25 AM

Jeff Johnson jokes that he thinks he's younger than he is. 

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But a couple years ago, his knee pain became too much to ignore. 

"I couldn't walk down stairs," Johnson said. "Worn out from years of abuse and construction. I'm just hard on everything." 

His right knee was pretty much bone-on-bone. So he needed it replaced. Dr. David Fogarty from St. Luke's did the surgery. 

"I think in three weeks after I was done, I was up staining my house on a ladder," Johnson said. "I mean, it went pretty smooth." 

A couple months later, he got a call from Dr. Fogarty asking him to do the Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run. 

"We have been doing a 1-mile walk together," Dr. Fogarty said. "And it's fantastic to see people who have really gone through a lot of disability in their life be able to get back out and go outside and go for a walk for a mile."

Participants in the Jingle Bell Run can do a 5k run or a 1-mile walk. Every year, Dr. Fogarty does the walk side-by-side with his patients.

"It's just really an endearing event, and I've felt honored to be able to participate in that," he said. 

"You hope you never have to see your doctors, right?" Johnson asked. "But I could call him almost like a friend instead of my surgeon." 

That's one of the reasons the Arthritis Foundation named Dr. Fogarty its 2019 Jingle Bell Run Medical Honoree. But he said the real honor is what he witness with every step of the walk. 

"It's one of the true gifts of my job is to be able to offer people who have faced a lot of difficulties and they face pain on a daily basis and to be able to provide to them the ability to get back and do that without that limitation and without that pain is a gift." 

If you want to give to Trees of Hope benefitting the Arthritis Foundation, click here

Credits

Baihly Warfield

Copyright 2019 WDIO-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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