Published by The Kansas City Star

He doesn’t play the bagpipe.

Nor does the blue tartan he wears have any personal significance for the native of Hutchinson, Kan., other than that his father-in-law recommended it.

Frankly, if Babb had his druthers, he happily would give up his kilt forever for the trousers he once wore as a globe-trotting executive.

“I can’t,” Babb said.

The reason goes to a story of twisting fate and twisting pain that involves a trip to China and an almost 14-hour return flight with a crushed and swollen right leg.

Later would come the therapies, the opioid prescription, the addiction and recovery, as well as a slew of doctors including one, William Corporon, who in April 2014 was gunned down along with his grandson, Reat Underwood, as part of a hate crime outside the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park. Terri LaManno, an occupational therapist visiting her mother at the Village Shalom care center nearby, also was killed that day.

“When he was killed,” Babb said of his doctor, “it was like losing a close ally.”

In the end, Babb wears a kilt because of a chronic nerve condition known as complex regional pain syndrome. The tenderest touch of fabric against his lower right leg will ignite waves of dizzying pain.

 

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