Richard Kelsey Age 89

April 03, 2014

In 2010 Richard Kelsey was admitted to UCLA Ronald Regan Medical Center with stomach swelling and diarrhea. “I looked like I was in my third trimester, my stomach was so bloated,” says Richard. After weeks of tests surgeons removed a small piece of his colon. Following the surgery the colon became twisted and created a blockage, and the only treatment option was to remove the entire colon, leaving him with an ostomy.

Richard had lost 35 pounds, was so weak he couldn’t get himself out of bed, something required before he would be discharged from the hospital. “I needed to be home, in my own bed, eating my own food to get well. I knew I would never leave that hospital if I didn’t,” he said. Richard lined up a caregiver to help him at home and the doctors released him. Gradually he regained strength, so much that he was ready to resume a normal lifestyle, but this couldn’t be accomplished without the support and care provided by Desiree DiMichele, RN and ostomy nurse at the Providence Tarzana Wound Care Center.

“Desiree came to the house and worked with me on getting the best possible fit for my ostomy bag and taught me how to change it. She came to me on a regular basis until I was ready to be on my own and visit the ostomy center. To this day, if I have any issues, I go to the Wound Center and they fix me right up.” For the past couple years this has been an invaluable resource for Richard, one that has helped him go out and return to a normal lifestyle.