For 58 year old Mary, feeling healthy and strong seemed completely out of reach. A poorly managed Type II diabetic, Anna had never taken her medications regularly, nor had she ever fully understood the havoc her diabetes was wreaking on her health. Feeling terribly ill and discouraged, she heard about FAME and decided to make the 40 minute road trip between her village and Karatu. She arrived at FAME with a high fever and an old wound on her foot – one she had been battling with for 9 long years -- septic and oozing. The team quickly discovered that her blood sugar was dangerously high as was her blood pressure. She was immediately admitted to the ward and over the next 4 days, cared for by our team. They cleaned and dressed her wound and treated her infection with IV antibiotics. Having a well stocked pharmacy at their fingertips, they managed to bring both her blood sugar and blood pressure back into normal range.
So began the long road to healing for Mary. A few days later she was discharged but not without a rigorous follow-up program in place and a new understanding of her diabetes -- that it was a chronic disease and would require lifelong medicine and management. With this new understanding, she began taking her medicines regularly and coming in for follow-up visits. Despite careful attention to her diabetes, after nearly a year of weekly dressing changes and care, her wound was still not completely healed. The FAME team decided to try something that hadn’t yet been tried. Equipped with skin grafting equipment, some previous training from a volunteer and a visiting surgeon on hand, they scheduled Anna for a skin graft. Once in the OR, the donor site was prepared and draped and the recipient site cleaned and debrided. They completed the long and tedious procedure and hoped for the best, and sure enough the graft took! Anna was discharged with the wound clean and dry, and we are happy to report that it has finally healed up completely. Mary is feeling healthy, strong AND mobile again, and it is largely due to the comprehensive care she received at FAME Medical from a committed team of providers who refused to give up on her.