Saving a Leg, Saving a Life
“You were as white as your socks at home. You had no color.”
It is the last appointment after eight weeks of outpatient treatment at the Metro Health Wound Healing Center and Jim* and Connie* want to say thanks to the nurses and doctors who saved Jim’s right leg, and saved his life. There are hugs all around, and the couple ask if they can share their story.
Two months earlier, Jim had a wound on his leg that would not heal. “His skin is so thin, like crepe paper, that it weeps and oozes,” said Connie. Then, Jim fell at home, and the wound opened up and would not stop bleeding.
Connie drove her husband to the emergency room of a city hospital. A physician wrapped a pressure bandage around the leg and sent them home, Connie recalled.
The next morning when Jim’s leg was still bleeding, Connie called their primary care physician. He told them to go to the Metro Health Wound Healing Center right away.
“I could barely get him into the car, to come here he was so weak, but I’m glad we made it,” Connie said.
Nurse practitioner Ashley Foster assessed Jim’s wound and immediately directed her team to get Jim to the Emergency Department.
“He was very unstable. We checked his vitals, he had lost so much blood he was nearly unresponsive. The ER team quickly started him on resuscitation, administering blood and fluids and stitching the wound.”
Connie said she watched in amazement. “It was beautiful to see so many people working on my husband, and stitching the wound, which the other hospital said could not be sutured. They saved the skin and saved his leg.”
“I believe if we had not made that appointment to come to the Wound Healing Center, Jim would have died at home,” Connie said.
Jim, in his 80’s, looks robust and healthy as he stands to shake hands with the Wound Healing Center team. A WW II veteran ball cap sits proudly on his head, and Jim’s firm handshake conveys his vigor.
Nurse Ashley compliments Jim and Connie. “They did a great job, Connie was a wonderful nurse for him at home.” Connie smiled. “I just followed your instructions.”
Ashley said, “There must have been a divine hand involved because they came to the right place at the right time. This is what we do here. We are so happy to see you go home.”
Jim and Connie raised five children in nearly 60 years of marriage, and enjoy their time with 14 grandchildren, 13 great grandchildren and three great-great grandchildren.
Jim said, “We are so grateful. This is our first experience with Metro. We are so glad our doctor sent us here.”
*Out of respect for privacy, Jim and Connie asked that we not use their real names.