“It was a freak industrial accident,” said James Michael “Mike”
Shelton, 64, of Corydon, KY, a tool and die maker at Prestige Tool &
Die. A 2,200 lb. block of steel fell on his leg, hitting midway between
his knee and ankle and then crushing his foot. An initial surgery was
followed three weeks later by the amputation of two toes.
“I started going to the
Advanced Wound Healing Center three times a week,” he recalled, “since I had a Wound VAC
that had to be serviced.” This type of therapy uses a vacuum-assisted
closure that helps wounds to heal more quickly since the device decreases
air pressure on the wound. It promotes the formation of granulation tissue
connective tissue and microscopic
blood vessels that form on the surface of a wound during the healing process. “One
day a week, they would do debridement to get the dead skin off,”
he said, “and change the dressings.”
Topher Edmondson, RN, WCC, Clinical Manager, Advanced Wound Healing Center,
explained, “All the necrotic (dead) tissue in the wound has to be
removed since it delays healing and increases the chances of infection.”
Shelton had one area that wasn’t healing which required another surgery.
“We went back to using the Wound VAC on it and within four weeks
it had healed,” he recalled. After four months in a wheelchair,
he progressed to a crutch. Five months after the accident, he could start
putting weight on the foot.
“In September, I went back to work part-time and could work full
days again before Christmas.” Shelton credits his wife, Tammy, who
helped care for his wound at home on the days he wasn’t at the Advanced
Wound Healing Center, as well as Edmondson and the whole staff, especially
Shannon Grass, RN, and Abbey Sailer, RN, WCC, for working with him on
his healing journey. “They were with me the whole way and really
took good care of me.”
The Advanced Wound Healing Center at Methodist Hospital is a member of
the Healogics network of nearly 800 Centers and was recognized nationally
with the Center of Distinction award for clinical excellence in 2016.
In addition to hyperbaric therapy, treatments offered include negative
pressure wound therapy, debridement, application of cellular-based tissue
or skin substitutes to the wound and offloading or total contact casts.
For more information, call the Advanced Wound Healing Center at 270-631-2399 or visit
Photo Caption: Mike Shelton, left, poses with Shannon Grass, RN, inside
the Advanced Wound Healing Center at Methodist Hospital.