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Paul Returns Home to Western New York

An estimated eight million Americans suffer from chronic wounds, described as wounds that fail to heal on their own within 30 days. Diabetics are especially prone to chronic wounds on their feet and lower extremities, with up to 20% becoming so severe that they result in amputation.

That’s exactly what diabetic Paul Busdiecker, a civilian worker stationed at the United States Embassy in Nicosia, Cyprus, wanted to avoid when he developed a wound on his foot. When the wound wouldn’t heal, despite the good care he received, state department physicians suggested he come back to the Unites States for more advanced treatment. A Western New York native, he wanted to find a facility close to home that could treat his problem wound.

“I called my dad and he found information on the Advanced Wound Healing Center at St. Joseph Campus,” Paul said. “I looked it up online and contacted Dr. Lee Ruotsi’s team right away.”

Paul Busdiecker and Dr. Ruotsi

Paul can watch TV and speak to Dr. Ruotsi by using a telephone while in the chamber.
After looking at Paul’s medical records, Dr. Ruotsi determined he was a candidate for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, but first he needed surgery to remove the infected tissue and bone.

“Dr. Ruotsi said to me right off that ‘we’re going to get this taken care of,’ and that made me feel I was in the right place,” Paul added.

Dr. Ruotsi transferred Paul to Sisters of Charity Hospital, Main Street Campus in Buffalo where Michael Hocko, MD, an Infectious Disease specialist, began antibiotic therapy, while podiatrist Joseph Anain, Jr., surgically removed the infected bone and tissue. “This is what diabetic limb preservation is all about,” said Dr. Ruotsi. “Getting the appropriate specialists on board early in the game is critical to a successful outcome.”

Following surgery, Paul was able to begin hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which speeds the healing process. Paul comes to the wound center at St. Joseph Campus, equipped with the latest hyperbaric oxygen chambers, five times a week, for two hours each day. His recovery is expected to take six weeks.

“The results we’ve seen with Paul have been really gratifying,” said Dr. Ruotsi. “The process isn’t over yet, and he’s not completely healed, but he’s well on his way.”

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