Herbert Hare’s Story: “Northwest Hospital saved my foot”

The pain was agonizing; I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t even sit or sleep. My wife, Carolyn, and I visited doctor after doctor and finally by the grace of God we ended up at Northwest Hospital. Dr. Ian Weiner, Orthopedic Surgeon and Dr. Norbert Zemankiewicz, Vascular Surgeon, took Herbert Hareone look at my foot and immediately rushed me into emergency surgery to clean out the infection. When I woke from surgery, my foot was completely open with the tendons exposed. They explained to me that because I am a diabetic, the wound had become so severely infected and surgery would not be enough; I was now going to need a skin graft. Once the skin graft was complete, I was sent to the Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) to expedite the healing process. I didn’t get my hopes up, I knew my foot was in bad shape and there was a slim chance they were going to save it.

The very next day we went to the Wound Center and the nurses, the doctors, everyone was top notch! Together they came up a with a specialized treatment plan just for me. I started the hyperbaric oxygen therapy and completed 31 dives. Eric Shapiro, HBOT Program Manager, was just fantastic, I didn’t like being in that chamber but he always made me feel calm and relaxed. Michele Stiller, R.N. and the other nurses at the center were always so helpful and supportive. They even taught Carolyn how to properly care for my wounds and helped coordinate in home care to assist with the more advanced wound care.

At the end of the two and half year ordeal, I could not believe that Northwest Hospital actually saved my foot! After all the surgeries and therapy the doctors only needed to amputate my big toe! This was an amazing turn of events, a miracle!  I thank God every day for the good people over at Northwest Hospital and I will forever be grateful to them.

If you or a loved one would like a consultation with the Center for Wound Care and HBOT at Northwest Hospital, please call (410) 521-8390, no referral is necessary.