Man gains mobility after months of pain from untreated wounds

Man gains mobility after months of pain from untreated wounds

For months, 70-year-old Donald Williams was confined to his living room chair due to excruciating pain from wounds that would not heal on his legs and feet.

The wounds were so painful he could not sleep through the night and had difficulty standing long enough to walk to the bathroom. Donald Williams visited numerous doctors who all said the situation was hopeless, so he remained undiagnosed and untreated.

His wife, Betty Williams, was determined to find an answer. She connected with the Wound Care Center at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, Ill., where he was diagnosed with peripheral vascular disease. His care team developed a treatment plan to address both the immediate pain of the wounds, as well as the underlying cause.

“Our goal is to restore blood flow, allowing for healing and keeping our patients on their own two feet,” says Dr. Emily Chatskis, internal medicine physician and clinical director of the Wound Care Center. “Our objective is to treat not only the wound, but the underlying issue causing the wound.”

According to the American Heart Association, peripheral vascular disease refers to diseases of blood vessels outside the heart and brain, and is often a narrowing of vessels that carry blood to the legs, arms, stomach or kidneys.

Dr. Benjamin Rojas, a cardiologist at Advocate Heart Institute at Condell Medical Center, recommended surgery to reestablish the blood flow in the vessels, which would help the wounds heal.

Following the surgery in April 2015, the nursing staff went to great lengths to ensure his wounds began to heal with the corrected blood flow. Nurses visited Donald Williams at home on a weekly basis until he was able to visit the Wound Care Center for check-ups on his own.

“I have now regained full mobility,” he says. “I no longer need a walker or a cane. The nurses were all so nice to me and I could tell that they really cared.”

When Donald Williams was discharged in June, he left with a big smile, says Dawn Falls, Wound Care Center coordinator.

“He had his life back,” Falls says. “He was standing tall and was now able to enjoy his summer.”

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.