Life is an adventure.

Lynn Locuson is an 81-year-old inspiration who doesn’t let his age slow him down. It could be his adventurous spirit and a calling for service that keeps him going — even after cancer, multiple bouts of malaria, painful back problems, having a stent placed in his heart and shoulder replacement surgery.

A resident of Groveland, Florida, Lynn has had the majority of his health challenges in recent years cared for at Orlando Health South Lake Hospital.

“They’re great people. They’re excellent,” he says of the Orlando Health South Lake team.
“Their nurses, the service – they do as much as they can to make you as comfortable as they can.”

Although he retired many years ago after a 40-year career as a truck dispatcher in New Jersey, Lynn used his retirement years to pursue adventure and service following the passing of his wife. For many years, he traveled to Uganda to do community development work with his church.  After surviving malaria twice, his transcontinental lifestyle was interrupted for three years with cancer, but he soon returned to his routine of spending winters in Africa, followed by summers in the Adirondack Mountains in New York state where he served at a church retreat center.

“I had my house in Jersey for 43 years, and I think I lived in it about two years out of the last 15,” he says.

After relocating to Groveland to be near his grandkids and great-grandkids, Lynn keeps active these days by working at Chick-fil-A. Five days a week, he gets up at 4:30 am to start his shift at 6:30 am. Often after work, he’ll go to the gym, even though he’s been on his feet all day.

Considering his active lifestyle, not many people would guess the degree of physical challenges Lynn has overcome.  He first came to Orlando Health South Lake when he was in his late 70s for work on his arthritic shoulder by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Amit Varma. His therapy included outpatient rehabilitation visits at South Lake Hospital’s National Training Center.

Lynn’s next challenge was intractable back pain from a degenerative spine condition. Following hospitalization and treatment by pain management specialist Dr. Daniel Loren, he recovered at the SkyTop View Rehabilitation Center, a resort-like inpatient rehabilitation facility on the campus of South Lake Hospital.

Months later, Lynn saw Dr. Lushantha Gunasekera with Orlando Health Heart & Vascular Institute to get his heart checked. What started as an appointment for a catheterization test ended in urgent stent implantation surgery to unclog one of his coronary arteries. 

In early 2018, Lynn was back at SkyTop View Rehabilitation Center following shoulder replacement surgery, known as a reverse total shoulder arthroplasty. Physical therapists at SkyTop helped him regain his balance, strength and mobility. Occupational therapists assisted Lynn with techniques to manage everyday activities again. 

“They’re great people there, and the atmosphere is really nice,” Lynn says of the SkyTop center. “Family can come there and take their loved one outside, walk them around a sidewalk all the way around the property, and they’ve got a beautiful view from there.”

Lynn speaks with a laidback South Jersey drawl, relating a sense of carefree adventure. He used to love exploring the country on long road trips from New Jersey to Montana. These days, he just wants to have his weekends free to “fiddle around in the yard” and have fun with his great-grandkids.

When asked if he has any advice to share with others wanting to live a long, active life, Lynn thinks a moment and replies with an emphatic, “Don’t be a couch potato!”

He attributes his enthusiasm for life to a calling for serving others. “I’ve always been involved with people. From day one, God led me on a path of serving people and working with people.”

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