Hi, my name is Paula! Last October my mom was in Connecticut renovating one of her properties and she caught Poison Ivy on her leg. Her foot became infected and would not heal so she went to the emergency room. They referred her to a surgeon where she was told that she had P.A.D. The arteries in her leg were completely blocked and she was told there was no way to open the arteries. They would need to amputate her entire leg.
In November, I drove to Connecticut to bring her back to Florida for the procedure. I had researched and found a Facebook group ‘P.A.D. Support Group’. created by Kym McNicholas, who also created a foundation ‘The Way To My Heart’. I reached out to Kym and she sent me a list of surgeons in our area that could help save my mom’s leg.
My mom is 77 years old.
It is completely unimaginable to think of a family member losing a limb, never mind someone her age.
She was resistant to going to visit a limb saving surgeon since she had been told that there was absolutely nothing else that could be done except a below-the-knee amputation. The surgeon in Connecticut was well known and had excellent credentials. So she thought, "If he couldn't do it, no one can."
My mom ultimately agreed to give it one last assessment by a different doctor while in Florida. But a few days prior to her appointment, gangrene developed on her toes. I messaged Kym late on a Friday night and she immediately had The Way To My Heart's head Nurse Practitioner Kay Smith look at pictures of my Mom's foot.
NP Kay told me it couldn't wait till the next week for care. My Mom should be seen immediately. It being a weekend, options were few. But Kym was able to contact an on call advanced vascular specialist two hours away who was willing to assess and ultimately treat my Mom. So, we got in the car Saturday morning and made the drive to Bradenton, Florida where we met Dr. Jay Mathews, one we now call Dr. Miracle. He was able to revascularize arteries clear into her foot. It took a couple of endovascular procedures and although she did end up losing a few toes, the surgeon Kym connected us with was able to save my Mom's leg.
liAfter my Mom's five-month check-up, she continues to heal and is making great progress. I hesitated to share this story for months because we have had a lot of ups & downs and my mom has been very worried that her leg will become blocked again. This is going to be on ongoing concern but we are confident now she has an excellent team caring for her.
My mom says Dr. Mathews not only saved her leg, but also saved her life. He grew up in a town near by where we lived in Connecticut and my mom tells everyone he is her miracle worker. I tell my mom all the time that it was Kym that saved her. Without her foundation, My mom most likely would not have one of her legs today.
If you have friends or family members facing amputation from P.A.D. or from Diabetes, find Kym’s page online and reach out to her before making a decision.
#peripheralarterydisease #peripheralarterydiseasesupport #PADdoctor #PADspecialist #PADawareness