Wound Care Helps Patients Heal [Mary Trewatha]
I am Mary Trewatha. I'm from White, South Dakota. I'm a teacher at Deubrook Area Schools, and I've been there for 41 years. This is my 41st year of teaching.
Why were you originally referred to wound care?
I have been involved with the Brookings Health System Wound Care three times with three different visits. Three different surgical scenarios. In 2015, I had a series of surgeries from flesh-eating bacteria to whatever, and so, I had like almost over 27 inches of incision and it wasn't healing. And so, I was referred to the Brookings Wound Care to possible wound VAC.
What was your second wound care experience?
The second time I was at wound care was in 2021. I had a hip replaced and it wouldn't heal. We tried stuff here at the Wound Care Center at Brookings Health for three months. We couldn't get it to heal no matter what the team tried. And so, then we placed a wound care vacuum, which took another surgery.
What was your third wound care experience?
My third experience was in July of 2022. I had had surgery and ended up with a wound VAC from Sioux Falls, Avera McKennan. So, I came back here to have it worked on, and to do my wound care here. And so, from July till the end of September, I was coming three days a week for wound care.
What is a wound VAC?
A wound VAC is one they put on, and it's actually a small vacuum that you can get here from the wound care center. It has to be changed out every other day. Basically, they take and prepare your wound, and it's a sponge that goes into your wound and it literally goes into the incision, into the wound. And so, there's constant suction from this wound VAC on your wound at all times. So, it promotes constant healing.
How does your care team help you heal?
On each visit to wound care, they're very friendly. They take you back and get you comfortable. We like to laugh and joke a little bit and be comfortable. And then they would take and unbandage the wound and then disinfect it, clean it, and do whatever treatments it needs to be done, and then would repackage the wound again.
How did the wound care staff explain your treatments?
When we were working on all of my wound care, every time we'd have a different treatment, the wound care staff would tell me what was going to happen, why they were doing it. They'd explain everything and then would walk you through it step by step as they were doing it. If it took home health care kind of thing, my daughter was the other one who helped me do stuff. They would even say, go ahead and bring your daughter in, and they'd teach you how to do stuff, so that we can continue and just make sure that wound would continue healing.
How was your experience with the staff?
I've had wonderful experiences all three times with the wound care team from 2015 to the present. And it's kind of strange, you kind of actually start missing them when you're no longer going there. They treat you as a person. When you see them three times a week, you kind of become a family, or at least good friends. And we laugh and joke. And that helps relieve even when you know they're going to rip the sponges out and it's going to hurt. That kind of stuff. They you know, they really care. They let you know they care. And so, it's been a wonderful experience. Not one I want to live through right away again, but they were great, given the circumstances of the wound care.
Why is it important to have wound care close to home?
For me, it's very important being a teacher to have health care facilities close to home, because, for me, it was a quick trip in 15 minutes I could be here. If I'd have had to drive to Sioux Falls, I would have run out of leave, which would really have cut into my ability to teach, carry on my profession, which I love kind of thing. And so, it's just very important that the wound care team and the Brookings Health System is close, so you can get that quality care.
What did you appreciate most?
What I appreciated most about my care from Brookings Health System was the personalized care, and the friendly family atmosphere. And they take care of you as a person. They don't look at you as a number or another case or oh, room whatever, you know, whichever number it is. They really treat you as a person, and it's very family-oriented and very warm and caring.
Why do you recommend Brookings Health System's Wound Center?
I would highly recommend Brookings Health System. It's a very caring family atmosphere. They care about you as a person. They treat you as a person. They treat the whole person. If you're having a bad day, they'll talk to you about it if you're having a bad day, those kind of things. And so, you really matter here at Brookings Health service. And so, I would say highly recommend anybody to come and join the family.
Are you one of Brookings Health System's grateful patients who would like to give back to us? Learn more about how you can give back at brookingshealth.org/MyThanks.