Wound patient keeps on the run for self, charity
When David Flory completed his treatment for throat and neck cancer more than a decade ago, he hoped his recovery meant he could move on from that chapter of his life. Complications from his treatment, though, meant that his bone density suffered as a result. In recent years, he's had to have oral surgery twice because of osteoradionecrosis, or bone death due to radiation.
"I had to have a tooth extracted from my lower jaw," David says. But that same condition meant his oral surgeon was unsure of his readiness for the procedure, and advised a specific treatment to help him prepare. At first, they recommended he get the daily hyperbaric oxygen treatments in Chapel Hill, which would have negatively impacted David's work and life. "It would have been really difficult to make that commute every day," he says.
He started researching other options and found Dosher Memorial Hospital's Wound Care Center in Southport. It offered the same treatment and is much closer to Flory's home. "They really worked with me and my insurance to make sure that it all was possible," he says.
The Dosher Wound Care Center is designed to help patients with a number of healing technologies to overcome conditions such as inadequate circulation, poorly functioning veins, and immobility. The Center uses an interdisciplinary model of care that includes infectious-disease management, physical therapy, occupational therapy, laboratory evaluation, nutritional management, pain management and diabetic education, and other services.
Among those are two hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) chambers. David required 45 treatments to prepare his jaw for surgery. The purpose of HBO therapy is to increase the air pressure so the body can gather more oxygen which in turn promotes healing. He admits that he was a little nervous at first, but the HBO chambers, which are clear acrylic tubes, were restful and he could catch up on his favorite Netflix shows while he was there. "You could feel a little pressure during the treatment, but the staff was always there if you had any problems and it was easy to get used to, like swimming in a pool. I was comfortable and felt very relaxed," he says.
The Wound Center staff worked with him to set up early appointments, so he would still have much of the day to work as a mortgage lender. He's also been able to return to his active life style, which includes running in the Wilmington Road Runners Club. Each year, the club participates in New Hanover County's Relay for Life for the American Cancer Society. "So far, we've raised $52,000," he says.
"I can't say that I liked that I needed this treatment, but the staff at Dosher was excellent. It was definitely a benefit that this was available so close to Wilmington."
David runs six days per week for exercise, fun and fundraising for several groups, such as the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life.
Dr. Brad Hilaman was David's primary caregiver during treatments this year.