Patient Credits Tuality Healthcare With Saving His Leg

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Earl Davis

Earl Davis with Tuality Healthcare Certified Wound and Ostomy Nurses Vanessa VanDomelen RN and Clare Brown RN

Earl is a realist.  He lives for the now and doesn’t let things bother him too much.  A tree faller for 40 years, Earl has his fair share of stories about logging, and certainly is knowledgeable about the field.  He describes himself as outdoorsy and always active.  However, in August of 2016, a logging accident changed Earl Davis’ life. 

While working on a site loading a truck, Earl became trapped between two fallen trees.  He was fortunate he saw it coming and was able to throw his chainsaw out of the way, but the top tree, which was hooked to the logging truck, hit him on the knee and trapped him.  His co-worker, Wayne, didn’t see what had happened and continued to work pulling logs onto the truck.  The tree was dragged across his leg in a sawing motion until he could feel not only the pressure, but the heat from the friction.  There were a few moments where he wasn’t sure he would make it, and was afraid the tree would crush him. 

He tried to catch Wayne’s attention and get him to stop moving the trees, but he couldn’t be heard over the noise of the truck and machinery, and Wayne didn’t see him.  After a few moments, the tree shifted and Earl knew it would break.  He also knew if that happened, the tree would roll and crush him.  Somehow he managed to free his leg and jump to safety, but he knew his leg was badly injured. 

Wayne saw a commotion and shut the truck down to check things out.  Phone in hand, he called their boss right away, who was just arriving at the site, fortunately.  Wayne and his boss carried Earl out and asked him where they should go.  Earl said, “Take me to Tuality.”

After approximately six hours in the ER and lots of bandages and X-rays, the doctors determined there were no broken bones, so they sent him home.  Three days later, his wounds had taken a turn for the worse.  Earl’s wife called Dr. Kounine, the physician they had seen previously, and she told them to come in so she could take a look.  He was diagnosed with a necrotizing soft tissue infection, a rare but serious infection caused by bacteria he acquired while in the woods the day of his injury. 

Earl was taken into surgery immediately.  The damage was severe, but the doctors were able to clean the wounds.  After four surgeries and two and a half months in the hospital on a wound vacuum, Earl was finally free from the bacteria.  Now, he had to heal.  He received four to five stem cell treatments to encourage the growth of new tissues.  These treatments worked well and doctors were surprised by how fast Earl was healing. 

He still has a long way to go—another surgery on his foot and one wound that is not quite all the way healed, but he is thankful for the work of the doctors at Tuality. 

Earl knows his leg will never be the same, but he feels lucky to have a leg at all. “They [Dr. Kounine, Dr. Durkan, the nurses, and the wound care team] worked their tails off to save my leg; they never gave up” says Earl. “Everyone was great here.”  When asked why he chose Tuality, he said because it was closest, it’s where his son was born, and he’s glad he picked his local hospital.  After all of this, the only thing he could think of that could be improved upon was parking.


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