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Surgery and Advanced Wound Treatment Get Heidi Back on Her Feet
/ Categories: Wound Care

Surgery and Advanced Wound Treatment Get Heidi Back on Her Feet

When Heidi was a junior in college in Springfield, Missouri, she was a passenger in a Jeep that was hit by another vehicle. Heidi was not wearing a seatbelt and was catapulted 50 feet from the Jeep. She landed on the road and was subsequently struck by another vehicle.

A Journey of Kindness and Determination

Lucky to have survived, Heidi was not unscathed. In addition to fracturing the C2 vertebra in her neck, Heidi’s right lower leg and foot came to rest atop a red-hot engine, sustaining severe burns. For the next five months, Heidi called several hospitals home, the last one being Barnes-Jewish Hospital. Surgeons tried repeatedly throughout the months and years ahead to repair the damage done to her right foot, but the wounds persisted.

In 2018, Heidi visited the BJC Advanced Wound Center in O’Fallon, MO., for another opinion. Theodore Rummel, DO, and Stephanie Sandberg, DO, surgeons with BJC Medical Group, and their team treated Heidi’s wound with various therapies, attempting to get healthy tissue to grow. However, they were unable to achieve complete healing and referred Heidi to Washington University surgeon John Felder, MD, who specializes in reconstruction of complex wounds and peripheral nerve surgery. During her surgery in April of 2021, Dr. Felder was able to reshape and debulk the tissue on the bottom of her foot, allowing Heidi to regain more balance and weight distribution.

“It warmed my heart when Heidi called us at the clinic,” says Dr. Sandberg. “She was elated because she could finally return to life — travel, work and simply wear a regular shoe without pain.”

Now, 30 years after the accident that nearly took her life, Heidi is finding some relief. Her mobility has increased, and she hopes to restart her volunteer work at a local burn unit where she has provided hope and encouragement to burn victims and their families.

“I’m just so thankful for Dr. Sandberg, the team at the Advanced Wound Center and Dr. Felder for not giving up on me,” said Heidi. “They made me feel like family and I’ll never forget their kindness and their determination to get me back on my feet. And here I am.”

Schedule an Appointment

If you have or a loved one has a wound that won’t heal, you can request a call from the Advanced Wound Center or call 636.614.3096.

Advanced Wound Center in St. Charles

BJC Outpatient Care Center
2630 Highway K
O’Fallon, MO 63368

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