Buddy Michaels going strong after multiple hospitalizations

Buddy Michaels has been broadcasting on the radio in North Carolina for 45 years. During his career he has worked in many music genres – rock n roll, country, and Gospel – but for 35 of those years, he has been programming bluegrass.

Tar Heel radio lovers hear him these days on WBAG in Burlington, WKRX in Roxboro, WLHC in Sanford, or WLQC in Rocky Mount. His weekly bluegrass shows run from two to four hours in length, and include both new and classic grass, plus interviews with artists and bluegrass newsmakers. Listeners know Buddy as a fierce proponent of traditional bluegrass, and a devoted cheerleader for the cause.

But Michaels has had a rough year. What started out as routine back surgery has led to three additional trips to the hospital, of nearly three weeks in total. Fortunately it has all turned out well in the end, though not without some trials along the way.

Here’s how he describes his journey…

“In late July I went in for double fusion, lower back surgery. That was 5 nights of my first hospital visit. Prior to that I had been suffering from numbness in my right foot and leg. After the surgery, my leg regained some feeling but not my foot. Two weeks later they found 2 blood clots in my lung and my leg. Another night in the hospital.

A few weeks later they discovered several blockages in one of the arteries in my right leg. Pretty serious vascular surgery followed in which they transferred blood flow from a bad artery to a good vein. Incredible, isn’t it. Now I was on a walker, with an incision from lower leg to groin area and 65 staples!!!

Well that was trip number 3 amounting to 8 more days. And it gets better. Two weeks later at a checkup, my doctor said it’s not healing right at the top of my incision, so I had to go back in that very day to prepare for another surgery. This one was called a muscle fold, where they cut a muscle and actually fold it over the wound.

So trip number 4 resulted in 5 more days, and 4-6 more weeks of recovery. Total 4 hospital stays in 9 weeks, and around 18 nights.

I’m resting at home and thanks to recordings, I have missed very little time on the air. I am able to do my 4 weekly bluegrass radio shows from my home studio. All I could think about was getting back on the air!!! I missed it so bad!!!”

This is great news, not only for North Carolina bluegrass radio lovers, but for all of us who cherish the people in our bluegrass community as well.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.