It takes time and a team approach - Mark Young
Physicians: Sharon Rooney-Gandy, DO
When a serious softball injury threw Mark Young a curve ball, the Lakeland Wound Center provided the support and education he needed to overcome a seven-month healing process.
One evening, the Niles resident was coaching softball, like he normally did twice a week. As the hitting instructor, he stood behind a screen meant to protect him from the ball. Unfortunately, a 90-mile-per-hour line drive found a gap in the screen and slammed into his right ankle.
“I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know how bad it was right away,” said Mark.
He continued coaching, but by the next morning, the swelling was severe enough that he went to the emergency department at Spectrum Health Lakeland Niles Hospital. No serious injuries to the bones or surrounding muscle were discovered and Mark followed up with his primary care physician for routine monitoring.
But as time went on, the bruising, swollen skin, and discharge didn’t improve. In fact, one night, the area swelled so much that the skin split and ruptured with discharge from infection.
Mark went to have the injury evaluated at a walk-in clinic and was referred to the Lakeland Wound Center. He was evaluated by wound specialist, Sharon Rooney-Gandy, DO, who informed Mark that his body wasn’t able to get rid of the infection and heal the damaged tissue on its own.
Mark would need a vacuum-assisted closure (VAC) which applies a foam bandage over an open wound and a vacuum pump to create negative pressure around the wound and assist the healing. Over the next three months, he visited the wound center every other day to have his injury repacked and rebandaged. Dr. Rooney and her team provided Mark with education and support throughout the entire process.
“My care team did a very good job explaining what was wrong and what they were going to do,” said Mark. “They kept me informed and showed me how to handle things if I needed to do so myself.”
He also appreciated the practical instructions provided by the wound center, such as advice to increase protein intake.
“Dr. Rooney talked to me about what I could do to help my body heal,” said Mark. “I really appreciated that.”
Together, the consistent communication and encouragement helped Mark carry on with his normal activities, despite the injury.
“I continued to pitch, work, teach softball lessons, and even go bowling,” shared Mark. “I’m not the type of person to just sit around, but the wound center helped me make the changes I needed to take care of the wound, watch for any issues, and continue living my life as it healed.”
Being a patient for seven months meant Mark got to know the wound center staff very well. He appreciated their level of communication and the team approach to care.
“From calls with the receptionists to working with the nurses, everyone was very professional, and communication was always top notch,” said Mark. “In fact, the whole nursing staff was so positive and encouraging. We all shared the excitement in seeing the progress I made as I healed.”
At the Lakeland Wound Center, the physicians and care team are trained in advance wound care and coordinate with support services such as diagnostic imaging and surgical, hospital, and rehabilitation teams during a patient’s diagnosis, treatment, and recovery. Learn more about their services here