KVIA: Life with Peripheral Artery Disease

Lucas Williams said he felt he was a normal, healthy guy.

“I was a 43-year-old, who I thought was in pretty good shape,” Williams said.

That all changed on October 5, 2017.

“I woke up that morning, did my usual routine. I was getting ready to take my girls to school, when all of a sudden, my left leg became white and numb and incredibly painful,” Williams said. “After I got to the hospital, I discovered that I had over a fist-sized clot in my pelvis that was blocking off all of the blood to my left leg.”

Williams was told by doctors he would likely have to lose his left leg. He was suffering from Peripheral Artery Disease, a disease that narrows blood vessels.

“In this country about 10-12 million people, they have this disease,” interventional cardiologist Laiq Raja said. “And out of that, probably 1-2 million have such a severe disease that they can lose their limbs.”

Williams, originally from Roswell, NM, sought treatment at the Hospitals of Providence. He underwent a procedure that revascularized his left leg.

“Had it not been for dr. Raja and his group, I wouldn’t have a left leg,” Williams said.

He’s now regaining his old life.

“I’m off the walker, I’m off of the cane. I’m in the gym. I’m walking. I’m working out,” Williams said.

Raja said the best thing to do to avoid the disease is to eat healthy and exercise. He also wants people to know the warning signs.

“Are you hurting when you’re walking? Do you have any issues? Is there any wounds on your feet.” Raja said. “Those are the questions physicians should ask. Education is a very important thing.”