Copious Notes

After health setbacks, Nancy Cox delays return to ‘LEX 18 News’ anchor desk

WLEX-TV news anchor Nancy Cox.
WLEX-TV news anchor Nancy Cox. WLEX-TV

Like many people who’ve dealt with anything from the flu to a major health crisis, Nancy Cox says she started feeling better and overdid it.

“You feel like, ‘Wow, I’m getting back into life.’ But not all of you is ready for that,” says the WLEX-TV anchor, who went off the air for major back surgery in April.

In mid-June, Cox said she was targeting an August return. But now she says a combination of some complications including vertigo and a little overdoing it after she was cleared to drive again have set plans back at least a month.

“I’m disappointed,” Cox said. “I knew going in that it was a very serious surgery, but I expected everything to go like clockwork, exactly like the surgeons said, and they did not.

“It’s a domino effect: one complication may lead to a different adjustment, which leads to another complication, which leads to therapy on another part of your body, or whatever. That’s just what I’ve gone through — one speed bump after another. But I trust the healthcare professionals and making that re-commitment to my health.”

Cox shared the news with viewers Sunday in a Facebook post in which she said, “it seems as soon as I got my driving privileges back and out of the brace, I instinctively went back to putting my children’s needs ahead of my own.”

“I’ve had a great summer with both kids — well, a great time, really,” Cox said Monday. “It didn’t matter the season. Just being home with them more, of course that’s good. So, I took my eye off the goal, just a little bit.”

Since her setback, Cox says her 14-year-old daughter has started working with her on physical therapy and her son, 20, is “sort of looking after me now, reminding me to rest.”

Cox’s surgery to address chronic, debilitating back issues has been a public ordeal, between features on “LEX 18 News,” social media and things like the paper calling to ask how she’s doing.

“A lot of people might find that invasive,” Cox said. “But I’ve been on television in Lexington for exactly half my life, so it feels natural to me to share this publicly. Now I have boundaries and lines, and things I don’t discuss with everyone. “

She says she has appreciated encouragement from viewers, particularly people who have gone through similar issues.

“It does encourage me,” she said.

Cox misses being on the air, particularly with events like the severe storms that struck the Bluegrass on July 20th.

“I miss being in the thick of that when you feel like you really are doing a public service, getting people the information they need and word out to families who may not know these issues are out there in Lexington for their loved ones,” .

“That’s one of my favorite parts of my job, when things are happening, and I feel like I can disseminate information and maybe help someone.”

As to when she’ll be back in the thick of things, Cox says she’s hopeful for September, but not setting dates at this point.

“My hope would be maybe I’d have some quick progress with this vertigo and I’d be back on the air before the end of August,” she said. “But we sort of do these things 30 days at a time, and then re-evaluate.”