In October 2016, I had a blood vein valve in my left leg fail. This caused blood to pool up and eventually it came out through the skin. I had a procedure to seal off the valve which left a surgery site about the size of a nickel. which in turn became infected with seven-eight different bacteria.
Continuing to visit the wound therapy clinic and having to clean the site one and sometimes twice a day the surgery site grew to 6″x7″. I was sent to a second wound therapy, three other doctors, surgeons and even infectious diseases. The doctors tried acidic wash cleanings, various antibiotic pads, gauze’s, antibiotic medications, steroids and even maggot therapy. I’m not joking, they place 850 pin head size maggots inside a barrier their built around the wound and sealed it up for 24-48 hours. Once the critters started doing their thing (eating the dead skin) the pain of them biting and maybe a little of being able to see and feel them moving around was to much, I lasted 24 hours. It was a very long 24 hours however, the little bugger did their job. Thank you maggot 1 – maggot 850, yes that’s what I named them.
The final decision was made in December of 2017. I had the following three choices,
1) Continue going how I have been and just live with changing out Gauze and cleaning the wound daily.
2) Try a skin graft, no guarantee it will work.
3) Amputation from the knee down.
We decided to go with #2 the skin graft. So toward the end of December after a procedure to surgically clean the wound, I was admitted with a MedVac pump covering my wound site and acidic wash ringing over it every few hours. After three days they performed the graft which they took donor skin from the outside of my thigh to cover it and with 63 staples later it was a matter of wait and see.
Four weeks later the doctor was happy that 90% of the skin graft took. It went from 6″x7″ in size to only 1-1/4″ in diameter. We waited three months for the site to try and heal on its own and to also give the donor site time to heal. With no luck, in mid April I went in for another graft to cover the dollar coin size wound directly over my ankle. This time no pre-clean, no MedVac pump just a Pez dispenser size of donor skin from right next to the first donor site and only 22 staples later it was back to the wait and see.
Yesterday (4/11/18) I meet with the doctor to see how it was going and was he surprised. Of the 1-1/4″ area still open 100% of the 2nd graft took. He said I still need to give it time to real around the perimeter which is the hardest area to heal, then I can start wearing shoes again, walking normal. YEA!! Thank you to my family for putting up with the screaming from changing the site, all the doctors, surgeons, nurses, aids and everyone else who had a hand in my 18 month recovery. You are all amazing.