His story begins 10 years ago, when Bob was scheduled to have a routine colonoscopy at another hospital. Both Bob and his doctors were aware that he had a naval hernia, but it wasn’t believed to be very large and it wasn’t bothering him. The hernia became more of a focal point after Bob’s colon was ruptured during his colonoscopy. The doctors recommended fixing the hernia at the same time they repaired his colon.
“That’s when the trouble began,” explains Bob, as he describes how his six inch incision was supposed to heal from the inside out, but instead sores developed around the incision site. Despite at-home care immediately following surgery, and follow-ups with two other hospitals, including thrice weekly visits with a wound specialist two years ago, the sores became the “norm” for Bob.
Robin and Peter Adams, Bob’s daughter and son-in-law reflect on his quality of life at the time, “We remember that the basic feeling was ‘this is the way things are going to be, so just deal with it.” One hospital said [further] surgery was too risky at his age and the other never offered to do anything but change the bandage. His quality of life was very poor. He didn’t want to move, had trouble bathing and was calling 911 constantly when he couldn’t control the bleeding.”
Robin and Peter also note that the hernia itself was growing. Admitted to the hospital a couple of years ago with pneumonia, they noticed how big the hernia had gotten . . . about the size of a kid’s basketball.
Then last year Bob saw an ad in the newspaper announcing the opening of the Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine Center at Speare. He immediately called and spoke with Katie Hedberg, APRN, the Wound Care Center’s program director and clinical coordinator. “He was our first patient,” says Katie.
“Thank God for Dr. Koren and the Wound Care Center,” exclaims Bob. Robin and Peter agree, “We felt that there was a ‘can do’ spirit. We were impressed that Speare was willing to listen to us, see the degrading situation for what it was and come up with a plan. Bob is a guy who has seen a lot in his life . . . Marines in Korea, extensive travel, a fun loving guy. To see him wasting away was heartbreaking.”
“Dr. Koren and the Wound Care Center team were able to listen and come up with a plan quickly,” the Adams continue, “assessing not only Bob’s health, but his quality of life and ability to take the risk.”
Bob says he had his hernia repaired on April 4, 2014. After surgery, he spent a couple of months at Golden View in Meredith for rehabilitation before going home in June. Since then Bob says, “Life is better. I’ve lost 20 pounds and my diabetes is under control. I’m living. I’ve got places to go and things to do”
From scenic drives with his lady friend, bus trips with the Moultonborough Recreation Department and dinners at the Lions Club, to playing cards friends and working out three times a week at the Winnipesaukee Wellness Center, “Bob’s dance card is full,” say Robin and Peter. “Since the surgery he is on the go like he was so many years ago. He is up and out with friends and his quality of life is 180 degrees from where it was.”