Healed: A Return to Living

October 01, 2012

Wearing shorts. Swimming. Walking on her own two legs.

Thirty-year-old San Fernando resident Maria Sandoval takes none of these things for granted. In fact, she credits Providence Tarzana Medical Center’s Wound Center for inspiring her toward a total health makeover.

Diabetic, weighing 440 pounds and plagued by two chronic ulcers on the back of her right leg, Sandoval visited the emergency department at Providence Tarzana in January 2010. There, she met Barbara Walker, R.N., a certified wound specialist. Walker recommended a follow-up visit to the Wound Center, where Sandoval was introduced to a team of specialists who persisted with various treatments—including debridement, skin grafting, custom compression stockings and diabetes education—that saved her leg from amputation.

The Wound Center helps patients like Sandoval with a variety of chronic, non-healing wounds, including:

  • Ulcers of all types (diabetic, arterial, immunologic disorder-related)
  • Soft-tissue infections
  • Post-acute burns
  • Surgical wounds

Wound Center physicians also specialize in sorting out underlying causes that keep wounds from healing. “They never gave up on me when I continued to have complications,” Sandoval says. “Because they didn’t give up on me, I stopped giving up on myself, and now I am a totally different person.”

In two years, Sandoval lost 190 pounds and is no longer diabetic. She regularly works out and is finding greater fulfillment in her relationships. “Before, I was existing. I wasn’t living. I wouldn’t have the life I’m living today if not for the Wound Center.”