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A Wound Care Patient’s Remarkable Journey
By Susan Merenstein

Joyce Carney is one of the healthiest 77 year olds around. That’s what her doctors have always told her. Which is why when a sudden cyst-like wound broke out on her arm about three years ago, she was concerned. Unsure of what exactly it was, Joyce tried to have it removed by a surgeon. The wound wouldn’t heal, and more started popping up across her back and down her arms, so she went to a dermatologist.

“I felt drained, and tired. No one knows what caused the sores, or how to stop them from spreading,” she said.

Joyce’s dermatologist sent her to the Ohio Valley Wound Care Center, where they tried to determine a cause. The OVGH Wound Care Center is one of the oldest and best-established practices in the region. As a Healogics-managed center, they are part of a nationwide network of wound-healing specialists, and they are used to treating wounds of all kinds, from diabetic ulcers to traumatic injuries. But this case was different.

Debbie Cardillo, Clinical Manager of the wound center said, “Joyce’s case is unique. After months of tests such as biopsies, x-rays, blood work and different compounds of creams and ointments, the wounds would make progress but never completely heal.” It was then that Dr. Samina Naseer, the Wound Care Center’s Medical Director, talked with Joyce about Pyoderma Gangrenosum. It is a rare condition that causes ulcer-like sores to appear on your body. While the medical field is puzzled as to how this disorder starts in your body, many believe it stems from the immune system.

While continuing treatment at the wound center, Dr. Naseer also keeps in contact with Joyce’s dermatologist on a regular basis.

“When doctors refer a patient to us, we like to include them so we can work together on treatment. We even give them monthly updates on how their patient is doing,” added Cardillo.

Joyce has now been at the Wound Care Center for months, and has seen remarkable improvements to her open wounds. She has not had a new break out in several months. While she may never know what causes the sores to develop, or have them heal completely, Joyce doesn’t mind coming to the Wound Care Center for treatment…she says they treat her like family.

“They’re just so congenial. They bend over backwards for me. They even call me on the weekends after a big treatment to see how I’m doing. It’s just a nice feeling when you come in.”

If you would like more information about getting help from Ohio Valley General Hospital’s Wound Care Center, just visit us online at www.ohiovalleyhospital.org. The Wound Care Center has two convenient locations in Kennedy Township and Ohio Township. You can call (412) 250-2600 to make an appointment at our Kennedy Township Location, or (412) 847-7500 to reach our North Hills branch.

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