Massachusetts Resident Finds Trust and Healing at Marlborough Hills

Massachusetts Resident Finds Trust and Healing at Marlborough Hills

Getrude Ateawung alongside Andre at Marlborough Hills.

MARLBOROUGH, M.A. — When Andre J. arrived at Marlborough Hills Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, even reaching for a water bottle on his bedside table caused him an insurmountable amount of pain.

Prior to his arrival at the skilled nursing center, he was living in the community and had several wounds. Due to a change in condition at home, he was unable to care for them and was admitted to the hospital. Following a month-long hospital stay, he was transferred to Marlborough Hills for rehabilitation.

He needed the support and care a skilled nursing center provides, he just didn’t know what he was about to receive, who he was going to meet, and the level of trust he had to put in others to allow his body to heal.

“There are lessons in life, and this was one of them,” said Andre. “You got to listen to your body. If you feel something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. It’s best to check it out and see what is going on. Your body will always try to heal itself, but you have to allow it too.”

Andre suffered from several wounds, which was the cause of the immense pain he was feeling whenever he moved. One wound was located on his butt, measuring in centimeters 13 x 14.4 x 1, approximately the size of a small plate, and he also has stage four pressure ulcers on both his feet, along with sizeable venous ulcers on his legs. When you ask him about his wounds, he remembers the pain associated with them but has never wanted to see them.

However, Getrude Ateawung, the wound nurse at Marlborough Hills, made a promise to him that she would heal all his wounds. Ateawung, along with the wound consultant group Dr. Novikov Wellness and Skin Care, and the team at Marlborough Hills were able to keep that promise.

“When I saw him for the first time, I said, ‘I want to heal this wound within a year,’ I was very optimistic that I was going to heal it,” Ateawung said. Though it took more than a year, Andre’s wounds are now successfully healed, she said.

“I’m overwhelmed,” Ateawung said. “I’m so excited, mostly for the work the staff achieved for this patient. Healing wounds help the patients go to activities, they are more encouraged to meet new people, it’s a big thing, not only for me and the clinical team but also for the patient and their quality of life.”

Treatment included a wound vacuum-assisted closure device, otherwise known as a wound vac, which helps stimulate new skin tissue growth by draining fluids away from the wound and removing pressure from it. Slowly, he was beginning to feel a difference and less pain as the months went on. The nursing and wound team also used the debridement method to treat the wound, which is a procedure to remove dead and unhealthy tissue from the wound. Also, over the past two years, Andre faced multiple hospital visits due to frequent urinary tract infections, which occasionally set back his wound treatments. However, each time he returned to Marlborough Hills, his treatment resumed seamlessly.

“I can’t stop the pain, but I can control how I react… this is a black belt test,” Andre said.

Years ago, Andre achieved a black belt in karate, which is considered to be a mastery level. He never thought he would achieve his black belt, but he did through mindful practices and dedication to the craft. He used the same methodology he used to achieve his black belt to get through his wound treatments, as painful as they were he preserved to the point of recovery.

“You have to trust in every possible thing. I had to trust in nursing and the prescribed treatments. I had to trust the CNAs and the dietitian telling me what to eat and what to avoid. I had to give my body a chance to heal,” said Andre.

Ateawung said it was an entire team effort, including Andre’s willingness to heal, that went into healing his wounds. Ateawung credits Sampson Boateng, Nidia Berrios, Sakina Mohamed, and Emmanual Asari, all Licensed Practical Nurses, and Registered Nurse Bernice Fitz-Odoi, along with the team of CNAs and staff for their teamwork in healing and caring for Andre.

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July 9, 2024 A Healthier Approach To Caring, Resident Stories