Johnny is no stranger to hard work or physical labor. He spent four years as an airplane mechanic in the Navy, stationed on the USS Independence. After that, he owned his own business, repairing and rebuilding printing equipment. Since retiring, Johnny has worked for his church, maintaining the building. Through his church, Johnny also manages a program to paint, repair and distribute bicycles to underprivileged kids. Johnny explains, “A couple of years ago, my wife came home from a yard sale with a kid’s bike. She said, ‘Fix this up, and maybe we can find a kid to who needs it.’ Before I knew it, I had to pull my car out of the garage to have room to fit all of the bikes in there.”
Johnny takes pride in painting and repairing bikes so that they are “like new” when they are given away. Over the past two years, Johnny has helped his church give over 50 bikes to underprivileged kids in Guilford County, Rockingham County, and surrounding areas. Johnny says, “We give a helmet with every bike, and we ask the parents first.”
Meanwhile, over the past few years, Johnny’s ability to handle his daily activities became more and more limited by his knee, due to a combination of arthritis, bone spurs, and an old injury. He had to stop taking walks with a friend. Going from sitting to standing became difficult. Just standing became painful. He could no longer handle the stairs at the church.
Johnny put off the knee replacement surgery for as long as possible. He walked with a cane, wore a knee brace, and had cortizone shots. But when managing the bicycle program became hard, the decision to finally have the knee replacement surgery became easy.
After surgery, Johnny received physical therapy through a local home health agency. He was already walking without a cane when he began outpatient physical therapy, but he still had a long journey ahead of him. He says, “When I first sat down on the exercise bike, I thought I would never make a revolution, but it got easier.”
Johnny chose to receive outpatient physical therapy at TheraSport Physical Therapy in Summerfield, North Carolina because it was convenient to his home. Johnny says, “From the first time I came, the staff was genuinely interested in helping me get better. And I have!”
Johnny now walks with no assistive device, is able to manage stairs, bend his leg to cross his legs, stand in church… and work on bicycles!
After meeting his goals and being discharged from physical therapy, Johnny joined the Alumni Program so that he could continue his routine in a safe environment. He enjoys the Alumni Program because, as he says, “Everyone here has something in common. It’s like going to the gym with a friend… You’ll get to talking, and you’ll go a lot farther without even realizing it.”
To learn more about the bike program, contact Johnny by calling Gospel Baptist Church of Greensboro at (336) 644-1932.