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Wound care center helps woman dance at daughter’s wedding

By Molly Tomlinson February 13, 2017
Debbie Jordan with her daughter Jenny on Jenny's wedding day

Debbie Jordan with her daughter Jenny on Jenny's wedding day

With less than two months before her daughter’s wedding, Raleigh resident Deborah Jordan started to worry about the wound on her shin. She had fallen the day before her daughter's engagement party and received stitches, but her leg still hadn’t healed. She worried she wouldn’t be able to enjoy the wedding.

Jordan, 66, was referred to the Duke Raleigh Hospital Wound Healing Center. The Center cares for chronic wounds and acute wounds that have failed to heal.

Wound care focused on common goal

From her first appointment with nurse practitioner Samantha Schweitzer, NP, Jordan felt like they shared a common goal.

“I felt like she had an ‘eye on the prize’ focus to get the wound healed as quickly and safely as possible before the wedding,” Jordan said. “It was a really great experience, feeling like they were all working towards the same thing I was working towards.”

Schweitzer and the nursing staff showed Jordan how to properly care for her wound, building her confidence when Jordan had a hard time even looking at it. Schweitzer acknowledged her fears instead of brushing them aside, Jordan said. “She helped me realize that what I was feeling was not abnormal, and gave me the opportunity to practice dressing the wound in the clinic with the nurses so I would feel comfortable at home.”

Jordan’s team also gave her a wound vac to help facilitate healing. A wound vac creates negative pressure around a wound, increasing blood flow to the area and encouraging the wound to close.

Complete care aimed at full recovery

As Jordan’s wound showed progress in healing, Schweitzer made one more addition to the care plan to help her regain strength in the leg she’d been resting during treatment. “I wanted to make sure she felt steady on her feet so she could dance at the wedding, so I sent her to a few weeks of physical therapy,” Schweitzer said. “We do more than just wound healing; we focus on a patient’s full recovery.”

“At the wound clinic we have an experienced staff to help patients achieve their goals and customize a plan together,” Schweitzer said. “Wound care can be very challenging, so we strive to optimize a person’s overall health to increase the chances of successful wound healing as quick as possible. We provide each patient with the education, tools, and resources to confidently care for their wound.”

Dance-ready by the big day

By the time of her daughter’s wedding, Jordan’s wound had healed enough to not need the wound vac anymore. Schweitzer found a skin-tone colored bandage to wrap Jordan’s wound with, so that it wouldn’t be noticeable under her dress at the wedding.  “I did dance a little bit!” Jordan said.

Jordan’s wound is healed, and she is staying active to keep her leg strong and nimble, at the recommendation of her physical therapist. “I found myself running up the stairs the other day without even thinking about it,” she said. “I finally feel back to normal.”

“This was the best health care experience I’ve ever had,” Jordan said. “I got great care from really caring people. They treated me well as a patient, and a person.”

Learn more about the Duke Raleigh Hospital Wound Healing Center

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