Success!

IMG_5546Back in September, I posed the question, “Are you a wound care expert?” At that time, I thought the hole on my Achilles tendon would take about 6 months to heal. In November, I was able to give an update, as the skin began to grow together. The wound has finally closed and I am back to walking around in flip-flops, even though it’s in the 30s or 40s outdoors. My wound care procedure has been tried and proven a number of times over the years: prayer, cleaning with warm soap and water alone, zinc impregnated gauze, and pressure — lots of pressure. Thank you all for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers. If you are suffering from a skin ulcer or similar condition, check out my earlier posts of links to wound care sites on the web.

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Christmas Gift to People Suffering From “Flesh Eating” Disease

Dr. John Crew has an amazing record. I wish this therapy was around in ’98.

The new treatment for NF was pioneered by Dr. John Crew, director of the Advanced Wound Care Center at Seton Medical Center in Daly City, CA. Dr. Crew has now overseen the use of NeutroPhase in the care of more than two dozen NF patients, such as Lori Madsen, Jared Hamilton and Michael Meillon. None of the patients he treated has died. None has lost a limb or any body part.

via Christmas Gift to People Worldwide Suffering From “Flesh Eating” Disease: NovaBay Pharmaceuticals and the National Necrotizing Fasciitis Foundation Will Offer New Life- and Limb-Saving Treatment At No Charge to Patients Worldwide – Yahoo Finance.

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The Lee Spark Necrotising Fasciitis Foundation

These folks came online just about the same time I took our story to the web. Check out their site !

The mission of The Lee Spark Necrotising Fasciitis (NF) Foundation is to help those whose lives have been affected by necrotising fasciitis and other severe streptococcal infections and medical staff who are involved with investigating, diagnosing and treating NF.

via Welcome – The Lee Spark Necrotising Fasciitis (NF) Foundation.

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I Can Hardly Believe This!

I posted a story about this survivor back in October. This is… amazing. And, things have come a long way since 1998, when I was hit with necrotizing fasciitis. What we have here is another example of the way wartime medical advances pay huge dividends to victims of traumatic injuries or disease in peacetime. I recall speaking with one of my surgeons about skin grafts and what I considered to be a minor-medical miracle, Xeroform. He told me, “you are benefiting from procedures developed at a hospital in Texas, during the Vietnam war, that had an unlimited supply of burn victims coming in.” That’s a paraphrase, but it had a huge impact on me and I was reminded that many people came before me and didn’t make it — I was indebted to them. Will Lautzenheiser will have a daily reminder of the same lesson:

Last month quadruple amputee Will Lautzenheiser received the gift of a lifetime: two new arms. An anonymous donation had been made to Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston, and three years after losing his limbs to deadly bacterial infection, the former professor of film production and screenwriting underwent a double arm transplant.

via Quadruple amputee undergoes arm transplants, thanks hospital and donor’s family – The Washington Post.

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Wound Care Update

Back on September 8, I posted a piece on wound care:WoundCare

One persistent and annoying condition with my reconstructed leg is the occasional skin ulcer, which will sometimes result from a nick or breakdown in my grafted skin. Over the years, I’ve become an amateur wound care specialist, employing what I learned in the hospital and from reliable resources on the web… I will probably use pressure with zinc impregnated gauze, as well as open air now and again.

I’m happy to report that the skin has finally begun to make its move toward the center and each time I remove my bandage, there are patches of skin trying to form in the middle. So, it appears that we’re in the home stretch – I anticipate the wound to be completely healed by 2015.

If you have grafted skin as a result of necrotizing fasciitis, a burn or other reconstructive surgery, here are a few helpful links to help you heal.

Compression Stockings and How to Use Them

Lower Extremity Leg and Foot Ulcers

Leg Ulcers and How To Treat Them

 

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Finding the Humor in a Twist of Fate: The Boston Globe

kreiter_lautzenheiser4_gSUZANNE KREITER/GLOBE STAFF

BU alum Will Lautzenheiser became a comic after losing his limbs while battling a fierce, deadly infection.

Will Lautzenheiser loved teaching in the film department at Boston University, his alma mater. But as an adjunct professor, he wanted some security. When he was offered a faculty position at Montana State University in 2011, he grabbed the opportunity.

“If I didn’t blow it there,” he says, looking back, “I could have had a good full-time job.”

It’s a funny choice of words. Lautzenheiser didn’t “blow” it, he contracted a fierce, deadly infection just as he was starting his first semester. To save his life, the staff at a Salt Lake City trauma unit made the terrible but life-saving decision to amputate all four of his limbs.

via Finding the humor in a twist of fate – Lifestyle – The Boston Globe.

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