Patient Experience

Karen Green

Wound Care Center

When Karen Green of St. Simons Island noticed her foot was swollen one day in April 2011, little did she know she was about to begin a long journey to heal what would become a serious wound.

Karen, who works full-time as a registrar in the Emergency Care Center at Southeast Georgia Health System and part-time at Sea Island Resort, was limping. When a coworker noticed her swollen foot, she recommended Karen have it checked. A physician took one look and diagnosed her with an infection called cellulitis, with the likely cause being a brown recluse spider bite. He started Karen on a course of antibiotics, which initially seemed to clear it up, but then the wound became worse.

After several more courses of antibiotics, Karen’s primary care physician, John Limburg, MD, referred her to the Health System’s Wound Care Center. At her first appointment, Karen asked the nurse if she had ever seen such a bad wound. "The nurse told me ‘yes’ and that it would heal, but I would need to come to every appointment and do exactly what they say," she recalls. Karen’s doctor at the Wound Center was Enrique Martinez, MD, an internist/cardiologist, who told her, "You will need to have patience."

In the months that followed, Karen underwent many different wound treatments including a series of skin grafts and wearing an Unna boot, a gauze compression bandage that contains calamine lotion to promote healing. During these months, Karen often felt depressed, but the Wound Care team, always understanding and encouraging, helped her through. "I remember one particular day when I was sitting out in the waiting area and I was so depressed, and Robin, the receptionist, came out and prayed with me," Karen says. "And Michelle, the nurse, would often come in and put her arms around me and tell me that I was going to be fine."

In June 2012, Karen had her last Unna boot removed and her leg was completely healed. "This is the testimony that I am telling everyone," Karen says. "Even though it was a bad experience because of all the pain I went through, I am so thankful that God placed me in the hands of these people at the Wound Care Center. They were just so awesome. I will never forget them."