Wound Care Heals Mind, Body, & Spirit

Experience the Difference | Dale OutsideOn any given sunny day, Dale Cupples of Piper City can be found throwing out a line at the lake. But in April of 2011, fishing was put on hold. Two months following a surgery, Dale developed a chronic wound on his leg, a wound that would not heal, making life difficult.

The wound had become so severe; he began using a walker and eventually got to the point of not being able to walk at all. “I felt hopeless and became discouraged,” Dale said. He stopped worrying about fishing, and wondered if he would ever walk normally again.

Dale was referred to the OSF Wound Care Clinic. He was met by the friendly and dedicated staff members who were committed to healing his wound. “Talking with the staff became like visiting friends,” Dale said. “They are good people.”

Because of the severity of the wound, Dr. Ira Halperin, of the OSF Wound Care Clinic, told Dale it was possible his leg may need to be amputated. “He always let me know what was going on, good or bad. I was upset, but at the same time, respected Dr. Halperin’s honesty,” Dale said.

Before Dale’s treatment began, staff used wound culture, a test that determines the severity of infection in the wound. His treatment started with an oral antibiotic and a calcium alginate dressing, a material used to absorb moisture, remove bacteria, and clean the wound. Several weeks later, a honey-based dressing was used, cleaning the wound and creating an environment for healing.

Wounds typically take a long time to heal, leaving patients frustrated. Although difficult, patients need to remain positive to help their healing. “Dale’s goal was to get back to fishing. He helped his healing process by remaining patient and optimistic,” said Dave Harms, RN, at the OSF Wound Care Clinic. “We don’t just treat wounds; we mentally, physically, and emotionally improve our patients’ lives.”

The wound was on track to heal after a combination of treatments, Dale’s determination, and his wife’s support. Dale and his wife, Barbara, visited the OSF Wound Care Clinic every three weeks. “I could see my treatments were working,” Dale said. “If anyone is in my position, with a chronic wound, I would highly recommend the wound clinic.”

By September, Dale was looking and feeling better; the wound was now a scar. When he walked into his appointment on September 19, without help, he knew it would be his last one. “The staff at the OSF Wound Care Clinic will always be special to me,” he said. “I had absolute confidence and trust in OSF.” Dale is grateful to be walking again and is looking forward to fishing in the spring. 

If you have a non-healing wound, the OSF Wound Care Clinic may be right for you. Ask your primary physician to refer you or for information on the OSF Wound Care Clinic, please call (309) 661-6230.

<<< Back to Patient Stories