House Calls

SUM 2019

House Calls Magazine is a quarterly publication that focuses on health and wellness. It includes a wide assortment of articles with topics on the latest health and wellness information, nutrition, safety, lifestyles, and more.

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Hometown Hero Most days you'll find Roper St. Francis Healthcare affiliated gastroenterologist Joshua Watson tending to patients here in the Lowcountry—unless he's deployed halfway around the world caring for men and women of the U.S. Army – B Y B R I D G E T V E N A T T A h o u s e c a l l s { summer 2019 } 39 picture of health O ne Friday afternoon last April, Dr. Joshua Watson sat in the back of a dirt-caked ambulance rocketing through rush-hour traffic on Highway 40 toward Kuwait City. During the 30-minute ride, the doctor started a dopamine drip and prayed for a 38-year-old military contractor, who, minutes prior, had arrived to the Camp Arifjan health clinic unresponsive. "He was having a massive heart attack," explains Dr. Watson, who notes that he and his team had been able to resuscitate the patient prior to the ambulance ride. The high-stakes journey—which took place in the middle of the doctor's three-month deployment in Kuwait—had a happy ending: The patient arrived to the hospital in time to get a life-saving stent. Dr. Watson visited with him a few days later. "It was pretty cool getting to see and speak with a guy that came to us basically dead, and to know we were able to get him the help he needed to survive," he says. Though not all days in the life of Dr. Watson sound ripped from the script of an action flick, some do. The Mount Pleasant father of four and Roper St. Francis Healthcare affiliated gastroenterologist is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army. The latter role has taken him across the globe on humanitarian missions—like his 2006 visit to Northern Thailand to make prosthetic limbs for landmine victims—and on tours of duty in Iraq (2007), Afghanistan (2013), and Kuwait (2018). While he's overseas, Dr. Watson provides medical care for active duty soldiers, civilians, and military contractors. It's not easy to be away from home for months at a time. "In the short time I'm gone, the kids change so much," he notes. But Dr. Watson takes comfort from lots of FaceTime chats, prayer, and the knowledge that he's contributing to something bigger than himself. "My deployments have been some of the most challenging times in my life because I've been away from family," he says. "They've also been some of the most rewarding because I've been a part of something I'm proud of." The Florence, South Carolina, native became interested in medicine as a child while watching his mom fight a rare autoimmune disorder. "I saw her battling and going to different NAME: DR. JOSHUA WATSON SPECIALTY: Gastroenterology PRACTICE: Lowcountry Gastroenterology Associates OUTSIDE THE OFFICE, FIND HIM: On family bike rides around their Mount Pleasant neighborhood, jogging, grilling, or serving overseas in the U.S. Army P H O T O G R A P H S B Y M I R A A D W E L L

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