Expert Wound Care Heals South Holland Man’s Foot

When a chronic wound on his right ankle wouldn’t heal last year, 59-year-old Wesley Wilson of South Holland turned to the wound care experts at Ingalls. Using highly specialized treatments, Ingalls nurses successfully healed Wilson’s foot, helping him to avoid a possible amputation.

Wilson’s troubles began when a surgical incision on the inside of his right ankle became infected. To treat the infection, doctors opened up the incision and drained it three different times. As a result, Wilson was left with a wound the size of a half-dollar.

“It was so deep and so profound,” recalls his wife, Rochelle. “My husband was basically incapacitated and feeling very hopeless.”

Things took a decided turn for the better when board-certified wound care specialist mary Purvin, R.N., C.W.S., arrived at the Wilson’s home in July 2008. From day one, Purvin told the Wilsons Wesley’s wound could heal.

“Wounds are a symptom of an underlying disease process,” Purvin explains.

In Wilson’s case, although an infected incision initially caused the gaping wound, his diabetes complicated things even more.

“For most people, wound healing is a natural, uneventful process,” she added. “But for some individuals, it becomes a complex problem that requires very specialized care and treatment.”

For Wilson that meant the use of vacuum-assisted wound therapy (commonly known as a wound VAC) and regular application of collagen to promote healing.

Treatment time varies depending on the wound’s size and response to therapy. In Wilson’s case, three months of VAC therapy closed the deep, painful hole in his foot.

“Wesley’s doctors were amazed when they examined him,” Rochelle said. “We’re so grateful to Mary and the other nurses.”

“I had been very depressed, but Mary always came to our home in a good mood. She made me laugh and that encouraged me,” Wesley added.

Purvin also taught Rochelle how to care for Wesley’s wound and run the wound VAC equipment.

“Because of my advanced training and certification as a wound care specialist, I can tell what phase a wound is in,” Purvin added.

“Wesley was a very complicated case,” Rochelle said. “His wound was in a troublesome spot. But with Mary’s expertise and encouragement, it healed. When your caregiver has faith, along with a positive attitude, it gives you a sense of hope.”

Ingalls Hyperbaric and Wound Center incorporates a comprehensive, individualized approach for treating diabetic, arterial and venous stasis ulcers; failing skin grafts; pressure or bed sores; wounds resulting from radiation therapy; burns; ostomy-related skin problems; and more. The Wound Center provides skilled dressing changes, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, patient and family education, and instructions on proper at-home wound care.

For more information, please call Ingalls Home Care at 708.331.0226.

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