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Winning the Battle with
Pressure Sores and Chronic Wounds
By Kimberly Sanchez, freelance writer
Sharon Gardner of Leander, TX, is used to winning battles - medical, educational, and vocational. Her spinal cord was severed in a freak accident when she was 13. After spending two months on a make-shift stryker frame, Gardner soon figured out that it would take dogged determination and an invincible attitude if she was to get out of bed and create a new life as a paraplegic.
She struggled to return to a small town high school where there were no ramps or accessible bathrooms. At the University of Texas in 1963 she could take only nine hours a semester because it was so physically hard and time consuming just to get around campus and into the buildings. There were no accessible dorms so she found a place off campus.
In 1966 she met and married her soul mate, Charles. She gave birth to two babies by natural childbirth, even as her doctor said it couldn't be done. As she says, "Having them was the easy part. Raising them from a wheelchair, now that was the challenge." Both children are now grown and living fulfilling meaningful lives of their own.
Her careers include being Director of Pastoral Care at a large hospital and owning a busy foreign student placement business, providing homes for 125 students from 21 countries. She even received the Entrepreneurship Award from the former Governor of Texas, George W. Bush.
But Gardner's biggest challenges have been medical. The initial surgery to reconstruct the spinal column was just the beginning. Long term paralysis compromises circulation and the immune system.
Through the years, due to lack of weight-bearing exercise, her bones have become thin and break easily. Pressure sores, a leading cause of death in paraplegics, have also waylaid her for months at a time.
Gardner has always bounced back from each setback, refusing to give up or let life steal her joy. But in 2004 she almost despaired. She noticed a definite bloody, inflamed wound on the back of her left heel. Her doctor prescribed an antibiotic and sent her straight to physical therapy for wound care. The therapist debrided the wound, meticulously sliced off the dead flesh, cleaned it with saline solution, applied a medicated dressing and scheduled her to come in three times a week for treatment.
Gardner did meticulous wound care at home in between therapies. Yet the wound grew larger. The therapists tried every new dressing, ointment and technique they could think of, but the wound tunneled, undermined and macerated. After four months of professional wound care and $10,000 in medical costs, the wound had quadrupled in size. One of her doctors hinted that her foot was heading toward amputation.
In desperation Gardner decided to try Miracle Mist Plus, an all-natural product formulated by a medical missionary to Swaziland. It was touted to heal most skin conditions, from rashes to serious pressure sores and chronic diabetic wounds. It sounded too good to be true, but she recognized she had nothing to lose. Traditional medicine just wasn't working.
She bought a bottle and sprayed her heel that Monday night. It looked like water. Was this a hoax? She sprayed it again Tuesday morning and night, and on Wednesday morning before returning to therapy. When the therapist removed the dressing, she was astounded at the amount of healing in just two days. She yelled to the other therapists to come see the transformation. And the healing continued daily.
By the time the wound was completely healed, Gardner had used four bottles of Miracle Mist Plus at a total cost of $120. She says she almost felt sorry for her insurance company that had spent $10,000 as her wound deteriorated. But mostly she's happy to still have her foot and to have won one more battle. (For more information Gardner may be contacted at Healthy Life and Times in Round Rock, TX, at 800-217-6677.)