Overcoming a Year of Challenges

On Jan. 11, 2018, Barbara was power walking at night and tripped on a broken sidewalk. She lacerated her face and broke her jaw on both sides. Barbara spent six hours in an emergency room receiving stitches and was told nothing more could be done to address her broken facial bones until the swelling went down in approximately six days.

During that time, her jawbones separated further. Barbara recounts how she was in agony when her long-time dentist, Dr. Ross W. Nash of Charlotte Cosmetic Dentistry in Huntersville, called her and told she needed help immediately and asked permission to put her in touch with Dr. Raymond Haigney. 

Barbara is extremely thankful to Dr. Haigney who was kind enough to go to Novant hospital after hours to view her X-rays and shocked at what he saw, immediately sent a car to bring her to the hospital. Emergency surgery was required, which involved a huge incision, re-breaking her jaw, moving nerves and putting her face back together with a combination of plates, screws and more stitches than Carrie Underwood received following her accident.  

Barbara credits Dr. Nash with restoring her well-known megawatt smile following extensive work that included no less than three dental recalibrations to realign her teeth.

Barbara went through three months of partial facial paralysis and then with the prayerful support of friends, strangers and churches near and far, everything miraculously healed. She feels blessed to have been cared for by world-class doctors right here in Charlotte.  

One week after her facial and oral surgery, Barbara learned she had breast cancer. Her case happened to be picked up by Dr. Peter Turk, one of the best surgical oncologists in the country. Barbara had to undergo another surgery and radiation but is now cancer-free and confident she experienced a second miracle.

However, Barbara’s harrowing year was not yet at an end. She would endure a painful bout of pneumonia, small skin cancer and the death of a beloved cat of 14 years before 2018 ended. 

Today, Barbara looks to the future. “It is with such gratitude that I get back to doing things I love and spending time with the people I love.” 

Reflecting on the challenges of last year, Barbara describes how incredibly thankful she is for the first-rate medical care she received from doctors Nash, Haigney and Turk and for the kindness of strangers who, upon recognizing her, would greet her with warm well-wishes. Thanks to this wave of positivity, Barbara never doubted she would prevail.

For more information on Barbara McKay, visit her lifestyle blog, SimplyBarbaraMckay.com.