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Grateful Patient Directs Donation to Expand Wound Care Services

Grateful Patient Directs Donation to Expand Wound Care Services

Small enough to fit on a rolling cart, the Transcutaneous Oximetry machine – or T-Com as it’s affectionately known – has a big impact on limb-saving decisions.

Winchester resident Bruce Shingleton first started coming to the WMC Wound Care Center as a patient five years ago and was blown away by his care experience. As a long-standing member of the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, an international nonprofit organization whose motto is People Helping People, Bruce knew he wanted to do what he could to support the Wound Care Center and the staff that had helped him heal not one, but two leg wounds over the course of a few years.

Through fundraising efforts in the form of dances, raffles, pin sales, silent auctions and more, the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Virginia Chapter raised over $40,000 to donate to a charity of choice. As the chapter president, Bruce was authorized to gift 100% of the donation to the WMC Wound Care Center.

“It was a no-brainer,” Bruce said about choosing the wound care center as his charity. “This has been exceptional care. They treated me very well.”

Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Manager of Wound Care and Limb Salvage, Eric McBride, knew the positive impact T-Com could have on Winchester Medical Center’s limb salvage initiative. The machine – with a list price of $70,000 – measures oxygen in skin to determine if there is enough for the limb to heal or if it will need to be amputated.

The goal of the limb salvage program is to decrease amputations and work closely with the Diabetes Management Program, which primarily handles non-traumatic amputations.

Working hand-in-hand with Valley Health Foundations, the Fraternal Order of the Eagles’ hard-earned donation allowed the Wound Care Center to purchase a new T-Com, the only one in the Valley Health System.

In the short time that the machine has been in use, it has already had a significant impact. The T-Com determined that a diabetic patient's foot had sufficient blood flow that only one toe, not the entire leg, needed to be amputated.

“This really is the gold standard,” says Eric. “In terms of salvaging limbs, this has the highest accuracy to determine whether an area can heal of all vascular studies we have access to.”

Bruce’s care at the Wound Center is coming to an end, as one of his leg wounds is completely healed while the other is “98% healed.”

“I’ve received excellent care here,” says Bruce. “It’s going to be tough on the day I leave. There will be some tears.”

Although Bruce never needed to use T-Com, his contribution to helping the Wound Care Center acquire one will have a long-term impact on patients. The accomplishment could not have been achieved without the teamwork of Valley Health Foundations, Eric McBride and dedicated Wound Care staff, and Bruce Shingleton and the Fraternal Order of the Eagles.

“A collaboration like this just really embodies our mission of serving our community by improving health,” says Sara Valentine, Director of Annual Giving, Foundations of Valley Health. “Eric and team at the Wound Care Center are tremendous and it was a pleasure to be a part of a grateful patient’s journey of healing coupled with gratitude and philanthropy. Being a not-for-profit hospital is what helps make connections like this possible.”