WBT/John Hancock

John Hancock has been away from the WBT studios, but his commitment to the community remains strong despite facing difficult health issues.

The longtime radio host and “Charlotte’s Most Beloved” sat down with Bo Thompson to give an update on his post-retirement journey, along with recently becoming an amputee due to a diabetic infection. During his first interview since the life-changing surgery, Hancock went into detail about losing his foot and what that has meant for his current quality of life.

“On October 28th, I went to a wound doctor,” Hancock said. “I didn’t even know they had wound doctors. They told me that it was pretty serious, but nobody rang a real loud alarm to me.”

Hancock went the following day for a consultation to receive cochlear implants and returned home to notice significant changes to his health. About two weeks later (with some intervention), he was taken to the emergency room and got a prognosis he wasn’t ready for, but took a short amount of time to decide what needed to be done.

“They took me back for some blood work,” Hancock recalled. “I got really lightheaded during the blood work, which is probably a good thing because then they didn’t send me back out to the waiting room (and) rushed me into a room. Susan came back about an hour and a half late… And then about a half an hour after that they ran some tests. Some other blood tests, this,that and the other…. And then a doctor by the name of Reed, Dr. Reed walked in. Never knew him. Never met him before in my life.

“I had some other doctors that had come by and said “this was pretty serious” and “that’s an ulcer” and “it’s got bacterial that’s very dangerous”…And Reed walked in and said, “I think we’re going to have to take the foot.” He said, “John, you could probably go to Charlotte and find a doctor that says ‘No, I can save it’. But he said, “I don’t think so. I think that you’re dealing with a really bad deal here, and there’s a bacteria in there that’s very dangerous to the rest of your system. And I think we need to take the foot.”

“Susan and I looked at each other and it couldn’t have been longer than 30 seconds, probably less than that, and we looked back up at this stranger and said okay.”

Hancock says he is not experiencing pain following the procedure and learning to work around the challenges of being an amputee. He praised the healthcare workers at CaroMont Medical Center in Gastonia, North Carolina who helped him through this difficult time. He also gained a newfound respect for the detailed work the doctors and nurses do after spending ten days in the hospital.

“There was a time when I sat there after I said “Okay, took the foot”, and I thought to myself, I’m in a Gaston County hospital.” Hancock said. “But I had read enough about CaroMont to know they get a lot of awards for stuff. So, that gave me some confidence.”

After being in the hospital, Hancock’s care regimen was transferred to a rehab facility in Downtown Charlotte. It was a full three weeks before John would return home again. He has kept his sense of humor intact underneath it all by telling those around him to “let the Lieutenant Dan jokes fly.” A true coping mechanism for Hancock, who has stayed true to his upbeat personality.

Hancock looks forward to checking in with the WBT audience in the future. His immediate plans are to continue to rehab and try to move past being in a wheelchair.

Listen to the entire interview with John Hancock below. He even talks current events with Bo, giving his opinion on President Trump and the U.S. Senate runoff races in Georgia.