Community rallies to help friend who lost leg to diabetes
By Tyler Stocks
Wednesday, August 14, 2019
The owner of now-defunct East Coast Music and Video in Greenville has been in rehab since April after losing his leg to diabetes and friends in the community are hoping to raise money to help offset some of his major medical bills.
A fundraiser will be held on Aug. 22 at Tiebreakers in Greenville and will feature live music, raffle prizes and a silent auction to raise money for Jon Hughes, also known as “Big Jon.”
The event will be held from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. and admission is free.
Hughes’ friend, Brian Lee, decided to organize the fundraiser to help with Hughes’ medical bills.
“John’s a really good friend of mine. I’ve known him for about 20 years,” Lee said. “To say he is a Greenville legend is an understatement. He’s one of those guys that everybody in this town knows. He’s worked at every bar and restaurant that you can think of.”
Lee said his friend was nicknamed Big Jon for a reason.
“He’s been a big guy since he was really little,” Lee said. “He had gotten up to 400 plus and diabetes set in on him.”
Hughes was admitted to UNC Lenior Health Care in Kinston on April 18.
Lee said that Hughes, who had never been diagnosed with diabetes, was complaining of a swollen leg and had ulcers on the bottom of his feet.
After much deliberation by his attending physicians and family, Hughes’ left leg was amputated above the knee on April 25.
The surgery was a success and Hughes later was discharged and sent to Harmony Hall Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Kinston where he is undergoing intensive physical therapy.
Since the surgery, Hughes has lost more than 100 pounds, Lee said.
Hughes, along with his parents, is expected to attend the fundraiser. Lee said this will be Hughes’ first time out of rehab.
“(Hughes is) doing well and he’s so ready to leave,” Lee said. “His spirits are high and he said God’s not done with him.”
Contact Tyler Stocks at email@example.com or 252-329-9566. Follow him on Twitter @Tylerstocks1987