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Wound Clinic Patient Recovers in Time for Daughter's Wedding

September 16, 2020

Melissa Manfull got to ring the healing bell on June 17, and it was music to her ears for more than one reason.

Flash back to mid-May, and Manfull was recovering after surgery in Ames to remove skin cancer from her stomach. The procedure left a significant wound that became infected, and her surgeon estimated that Manfull was facing a 4- to 6-month healing process.

Of course, that wouldn’t be ideal for any patient. It was especially disheartening for Manfull, whose daughter, Tabitha, is getting married in August. Manfull had less than three months to get well before the ceremony.

That’s when she was referred to the Wound Healing Center at UnityPoint Health – Marshalltown. There, Kelli Buresh, DNP, ARNP used a variety of treatments, including a procedure and advanced wound products. Then, just three weeks after first seeing Kelli, Manfull was pronounced healed and took her turn at ringing the healing bell.

“There’s no way that I thought I’d be healed up in time,” Manfull recalls. “Kelli did a fantastic job and was so thorough. I’m just so grateful for her.”

“I believe this relates to our core values at UnityPoint Health of patient-centered care,” Buresh said. “Knowing this was an important occasion in Melissa’s life, I wanted to give her the confidence and support she needed to feel really good about herself. Despite some of the complications she experienced, I was very confident Melissa’s wound would heal quickly.”

The odds were in Manfull’s favor at the Wound Healing Center in Marshalltown, which has many advanced therapies at its disposal, including hyperbaric treatment. Overall, the center’s wound healing rate is 97.4%, and it recently received national recognition as a Center of Excellence.

“We’re a clinic that not only specializes in advanced wound care, we treat the whole person, not just the wound,” said Buresh. “We see the impact that chronic wounds have on individuals’ quality of life. Our goal is to provide the tools to achieve wound healing so that people can move on with the important things in their lives.”

“They were amazing and treated me with the utmost respect,” Manfull said of Buresh and teammate Tia Bacon, who is an RN Case Manager and the clinic’s manager. “Truly, they saved my life. I was in such a bad spot.”

Photo caption: Melissa Manfull (right) with her husband, Gary, and daughter, Tabitha.

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