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Toms River Man Gets Specialized Wound Care

By Kaylin Harper

In July 2017, Patrick Magee and his wife, Susan, had planned to celebrate their wedding anniversary by having lunch on their boat with their son, sister and brother-in-law, Pat. Patrick, 39, had just put their boat in the water, left the ramp and headed for the river when he hit a wake, lost his footing and fell into the water.

Unimaginable Pain

As the boat circled around without its captain, the top of Patrick’s left foot was severed by the propeller blades. “I felt excruciating pain while I was under the water,” says Patrick. “I came up for air shrieking for someone to call 911.”

Susan heard Patrick’s cries and called an ambulance from the boat. Pat jumped in the water, pulled Patrick up onto the boat and tied two tourniquets to slow the bleeding. Susan maneuvered their boat to the dock, and within three minutes, paramedics arrived and rushed Patrick to the Emergency Department at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, where podiatrist Greg Clark, D.P.M., cleaned out the wounds on his left foot under local anesthesia.

“There was a portion of the top of the foot that was detached during the trauma,” says Dr. Clark. “Patrick wasn’t going to lose his foot, but it was important that we kept the wound clean so that it didn’t get infected.”

Help With Healing

Two weeks later, Patrick visited the Center for Wound Healing at Jersey Shore, where James Sullivan, D.P.M., FACFAS, Podiatric Surgical Residency Program Director, treated the wound. “About three weeks after the original injury, Patrick still had one wound on the top of his left foot, about the size of a golf ball, that went all the way down to his tendons,” says Dr. Sullivan.

“We surgically removed the damaged tissue on a weekly basis and utilized a Negative Pressure Wound Vacuum dressing system, which helped his body to heal over the tendon. Once the wound filled in and was level with the skin, we applied a bioengineered synthetic skin graft from human amniotic membrane. This allowed final closure of the wound within two weeks after I applied the graft.”

With the use of these advanced technologies, Dr. Sullivan was able to get the wound healed in about half the time it would have taken with conventional methods.

“As an elementary school principal, my only goal was to attend the first day of school,” says Patrick. “Dr. Sullivan and his team got me back on my feet in time for the first day of school! I’m back to doing the things I love, like spending time with my family and vacationing at Disney.”

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