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Quick action from Wound Treatment Center saved my foot.

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Quick action from Wound Treatment Center saved my foot.

Richard Baker

For more than 15 years, I’ve lived with type 2 diabetes. Last July, I visited my primary care physician, Julie Busch, M.D., for lingering foot problems  resulting from a run-in with a shopping cart. Dr. Busch took one look at the foot and said, “You have to go to the hospital.”

I didn’t know it then, but I had the streptococcus virus and necrotizing fasciitis and was pretty sick. One of the doctors from the Wound Treatment Center, Vincent Sollecito, D.P.M., examined me and said he would have to operate that night. He removed four toes (the fifth had been removed several years prior). Had he not acted so quickly, I learned, there was a good chance I would have lost my foot. I was always somewhat fearful of hospitals, but throughout my 10-day stay, the nurses were tremendous and made me feel like family. I also gained a specialty physician, Bharathi Raju, M.D. of South County Endocrinology and Diabetes Center, who really knows her stuff.

I returned home with a vacuum-assisted closure (V.A.C.), which pulls the blood and other fluids from my wound and helps it to heal. I returned each week to the Wound Treatment Center for a V.A.C. change, and Dr. Sollecito checked my foot. Every step of the way, they explained things, which was very important to me.

Dr. Sollecito recommended plastic surgery with surgeon Gerald Lionelli, M.D., who grafted a patch of skin from my upper thigh to smooth out the wound. Things improved as the weeks went by, but the healing process was slow. About this time, hyperbaric technician Rob Schaumburg suggested I undergo hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and explained that it would improve my recovery time. I underwent 31 daily treatments, during which Rob treated me like a brother, and Julie Anderson, M.D., and the other doctors examined me carefully before and after my treatments.

Today, my foot is healed, and I am doing great.  I’ve visited the Wound Treatment Center a couple times to try to thank the staff and the doctors and Rob. How do you thank people for giving you back your health?

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