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92-Year-Old Walks Again with Help from the Wound Care Center

Monday, April 08, 2013

92-Year-Old Walks Again with Help from the Wound Care Center

I’m doing great today thanks to Dr. Turlington and the Wound Care Center staff,” said Florence Schaefferkoetter. “My husband and I really appreciated their attentiveness. They let me walk again.”

At 92 years old, Florence Schaefferkoetter of Owensville has always been pretty active. She knows things may have slowed down a bit with age, but she takes pride in the fact that she moves around well.

Earlier this year, unfortunately, Florence was diagnosed with venous stasis ulcerations, which are caused by improper functioning of the valves in the veins of her legs. The ulcers are incredibly painful, occurring in 70 to 90 percent of chronic wound cases.

In Florence’s case, the veins in her legs had become swollen and sore with blisters, resulting in 16 open wounds that caused her tremendous pain and affected her ability to walk. “My wounds were so painful that I had to rely on pain pills just to get through the day,” recalled Florence.

Then, one day, while driving with her 94-year-old husband, Eddie, Florence heard a commercial on the radio about Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital’s Wound Care Center. It gave her hope that maybe someone could help heal her chronic wounds, so she could walk again. That’s when Florence decided to make an appointment, and in February 2012, she drove with her husband from Owensville to the Wound Care Center for her first visit.

“When we first saw Florence, her leg wounds were horribly infected, and she was in a great deal of pain,” said Keith Turlington, MD, a podiatrist at the hospital’s Wound Care Center.

“In addition to her leg wounds, Florence also had exposed tendons on the top of her foot, which we ended up removing,” he said. “However, we felt confident we could treat her wounds so she could walk again.”

Florence visited the Wound Care Center every week for approximately four months. Jennifer Barbin, MD, an internal medicine physician at the hospital, treated the open sores on Florence’s legs, while Dr. Turlington treated her foot wounds.

Her nurses, including Amy Cooper and Sara Licklider, would change her dressings, examine the wounds and redress them.

“Dr. Turlington was so kind and understanding,” said Florence. “I believed him when he said I would get better if I followed his directions. So I made sure to follow his directions exactly. And he was right. Week after week, I started noticing less and less drainage.”

Florence is now fully recovered – all 16 wounds healed completely and her pain subsided. She no longer relies on pain medication. Better yet, Florence is able to walk again without the use of a cane or walker. Her only instructions are to remain active and keep her legs elevated while resting.

“We also prescribed compression stockings for Florence, which give her more support and encourages proper blood flow,” said Dr. Turlington. “These will also help the venous stasis ulcerations from recurring.”

“I’m doing great today thanks to Dr. Turlington and the Wound Care Center staff,” said Florence. “My husband and I really appreciated their hospitality and attentiveness. They made the whole wound care experience so much easier. I cannot thank them enough.”

For more information about Sullivan Hospital’s Wound Care Center, or to make an appointment, call (573) 468-1997.

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