Mayor Clyde Rogers: Double amputation wasn't a handicap in election

Published on Sunday, March 10, 2019

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Clyde Rogers, Jr. had his second leg amputated weeks before he was sworn in as Duncan’s mayor in July 2016.


Clyde Rogers, Jr. had his second leg amputated weeks before he was sworn in as Duncan’s mayor in July 2016.



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Clyde "Rog" Rogers, Jr. and his wife, Lora, teamed up for the mayoral election.


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Clyde “Rog” Rogers, Jr. had his second leg amputated weeks before he was sworn in as Duncan’s mayor in July 2016. But that didn’t stop him from taking his oath of office.

“I wasn’t that much fun at the square dance after the election, but other than that it worked out OK,” said Rogers, as he laughed. “Things turned south real quick and Lora (his wife for 30 years) actually had to turn in my petition and paperwork, while I was in the hospital.”

Rogers beat incumbent Mayor Lisa Scott by doubling the voting result – 139 to 70 votes.  Rogers was a former town council member.

Rogers’ right leg was amputated in February 2016, as a result of complications from an aortic abdominal aneurysm. He expected a nine-day stay with no complications. An aortic aneurysm is the enlargement (dilation) of the aorta to greater than 1.5 times than normal size. Rogers’ aorta was blocked by a blood clot that was five centimeters in diameter, cutting off 90 percent of the blood flow to his lower extremities

Rogers, 60, had his left leg removed four months later, June 15.

“We didn’t even know if he was going to make it home or not,” Lora said. “(Before the second amputation) he actually got out and campaigned in his chair, up-and-down Main Street with only the one leg.”

Rogers’ health problems began about four years after a quadruple bypass in 2006. He started having severe pain his left leg, but doctors were unable to diagnose the problem until it was too late. And as a result of the first amputation, his right kidney hadn’t been getting any blood and he had to take dialysis three times a week. Each treatment takes at least four hours.

Rogers got into politics, because he wanted to help his town grow and improve.

“Quite frankly, I feel, we had spent a lot of time doing nothing,” Rogers said. “We have a lot of things going on now and we’re moving up. Since we got the ball rolling, we have industries coming to us left and right. We are putting it on the map.”

The amputations left Rogers dependent on a motorized wheelchair. He now sees a lot of issues that most don’t have to deal with like sidewalks, parking and other accessibility issues.

“I hate to say this, but when I took office our town council chambers were not accessible,” Rogers said. “The fellows had to immediately build a ramp, so that I could get to the podium. I do see things a lot differently.”

“He is an inspiration to me, because I’ve seen the way that he has had to struggle the last couple of years,” Lora said. “It’s a struggle every day, but he does everything by himself. He pulls himself up into the van to drive and goes to Lowe’s or dialysis or wherever he needs to go. He is a strong man and the Lord has been good to us.”

Rogers has always been a fixture in the community. He graduated Byrnes in 1976 and received his Bachelor’s of Science in Business Management from Limestone College in 1981. Until the last few years, he worked at Roger’s Barber Shop on Main Street for 44 years, a shop his dad opened in the 1950s. Lora has been there for 41 years and still cuts hair.

“Every time that I would have a pity party, Lora would be there to tell me that everything was going to be OK and we just had to find our new ‘normal,’” Rogers said. “God bless her, because she saved my life, it’s that simple. I don’t deserve the care that she gives me, because this isn’t what she signed up for.”

The couple have four children and five grandchildren with another on the way.

Rogers has two years left on his term, but plans on running for re-election if his health will allow it.

“With the group of people that I am working with, I’d love to do this again,” Rogers said. “If my health permits, I’ll be running in two years. I just love doing this and making a difference in people’s lives and the town that I love.”   

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