Donna Goff woke up May 9 with her left foot throbbing with pain and pus. She didn’t want to go to the hospital. Two years ago when her right foot developed similar symptoms, Donna went to a downtown hospital, and her foot was partially amputated.
This time, the pain grew so intense that Donna’s husband called an ambulance, which took her to the emergency department of Huguley Memorial Medical Center. Dr. Randy Lew performed emergency surgery to clean out the infected foot. When the diseased tissues were removed, Donna literally had a hole through the middle of her foot. Bones and tendons were exposed.Donna feared that she would lose much of her left foot also.
Donna, who is 38, had a lot riding on that foot. She and her husband, Tim, are raising five nieces and nephews, including two with special needs. As the “stay-at-home” mother, Donna holds the family together, driving children to school, appointments and activities, cooking meals and cleaning their home in Everman.
After the surgery, Donna’s physicians made no promises that her foot would heal. Her recovery was complicated by two underlying conditions: diabetes and chronic osteomyelitis, a bone infection.
Dr. Lew, Mrs. Goff & Huguley Wound Care Center Coordinator Dennis Kathcart, BS, RN, ACHRN
|In the hospital, Donna received an extensive range of treatments, including the wound vacuum, Dermagraft, custom ointments and dressings, and multiple sessions in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber, where she would breathe 100% oxygen to promote healing. Donna, her physicians and her team of wound care specialists were encouraged to see her foot beginning to heal.
Five weeks later, Donna and her family celebrated her long-awaited homecoming. However, she could not bear any weight on her foot. Tim, a karate instructor and car salesman, quit working to care for her at home. He carried her from the bed to the bathroom or a chair, changed the wound’s dressing, and took care of the children. “Being at home but being helpless was very difficult. I’m used to being the caregiver of my family,” Donna explained.
Donna was determined to get back on her feet as quickly as she could. With visits from Huguley Home Health agency and continued appointments at the Huguley Center for Wound Care and Hyperbaric Medicine, her foot continued to heal. As she began to walk again, the pain was strong, but her drive was stronger.
Three months later, Donna’s wound has closed and her foot will regain strength slowly. “It won’t be long before I’m back to my normal life—driving kids, grocery shopping. I came very close to losing my foot, so “normal” is truly wonderful. I’m amazed and grateful that they saved my foot.”