Sparta Barber Back on his Feet Thanks to Newton Medical Center
For Leonard Vance, barbering isn’t just a trade, it’s his passion.
As owner of Plaza Barber Shop for more than 40 years, Leonard is a well known fixture in the Lake Mohawk community with a larger than life personality and a quick tongue.
“I’ve met great people and have been very blessed,” he says. “I love every day.”
Earlier this year, however, Leonard felt pain so intense in his lower back and abdomen that he was forced from his perch above the barber chair and into the hands of the caregivers at Newton Medical Center.
“I’ve never felt pain like that before. I didn’t know what end was up,” he said. “It was my first big illness.”
As luck would have it, urologist Frank T. Salvatore, M.D., was on-call that day and making rounds through the Emergency Department. Dr. Salvatore and his two sons patron Leonard’s barber shop and the doctor has known Leonard for years.
“It was a good thing I happened through,” said Dr. Salvatore, who had a brief conversation with Leonard’s son, Scott, who also cuts hair at Plaza Barber Shop. “He said, ‘Hey, dad’s here. Would you mind giving him a look?’”
Dr. Salvatore ordered a CAT Scan and learned that Leonard had a large kidney stone blocking the drainage of his kidney. Leonard needed a stent inserted to alleviate the pain from the blockage. This was done in one of the Hospital’s Operating Rooms and it helped relieve Leonards pain immediately.
“I cannot complain about the service from the doctors and the nurses,” Leonard said. “I’m very pleased and very happy with the way I was handled. I’m telling everyone that Newton Medical Center is outstanding. I had never really been there before.”
Leonard spent two days on 2 Hussey, a medical surgical nursing unit, but could not naturally pass the stone. Dr. Salvatore decided surgery would be necessary.
“The nurses explained everything that was going to happen,” he said. “It’s very calming when you know what’s going to happen before it happens. You can almost go through anything.”
With the use of an endoscope, Dr. Salvatore performed a non-invasive laser procedure to remove the kidney stone at the Hospital’s Operating Room. Leonard is continuing with office visits at Dr. Salvatore’s practice, Skylands Urology Group.
“We’re working on preventing kidney stones in the future,” Dr. Salvatore said. “We’re making sure he remains in overall good health.”
“I never drank so much water in my life,” Leonard joked.
Although semi-retired, Leonard still spends about a day a week tending to his regulars alongside his son and son-in-law.
“It was a long two weeks,” he said. “I was chomping at the bit to get back in there to do what I love for a few hours.”
During a meeting with the Hospital for this story, his son, Scott, conveyed his gratitude. “I just want to say thank you for what you guys did for my father. It was exceptional and we appreciate it.”
Leonard lives in Wantage with his wife of 43 years and isn’t ready to hand in his shears for good just yet.
“I can’t say enough about the Hospital. If every ordeal is like that at Newton Medical, then this community is in good hands.”