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'What do we do?': Hyperbaric medicine ends desperate search

WARWICK and his wife Pam thought they had nowhere else to turn.

Warwick, who had been diagnosed with "very aggressive" prostate cancer in 2015, watched as his chemotherapy proved to be more successful than first thought, killing off the skin cancers on his legs.

But the small cavities left behind grew, and grew, and eventually, formed big, painful, weeping ulcers.

The wounds - some as large as a 50-cent piece - became so uncontrollable that the couple resorted to unconventional methods.

"I used to get up in the morning, and cause (my legs) were all mucky, I'd go out and put the garden hose on and wash it off," Warwick told Seniors News.

Eventually, doctors told the couple that only skin grafts would save Warwick's legs. But Pam didn't give up hope that an alternative solution could be found.

"I said 'who do we go to? What do we do?'," Pam said.

The answer? The Wesley Centre for Hyperbaric Medicine.

The impact was immediate. Pam emailed the centre's physicians photos of Warwick's wounds and they quickly responded: When can you get here?

Warwick underwent the tests for prospective new patients, and before he knew it, was stepping into the hyperbaric chamber and on to his road to recovery.

Warwick's treatment included 50 dives: that's 50 times the couple drove up and back from the Lockyer Valley, 50 times they had to put their life on hold. But it was worth it.

"From that day on, since they put the first dressings on, that was the end of my pain," Warwick said.

"I just can't praise the Wesley Centre of Hyperbaric Medicine enough. What they do is marvellous."

Warwick said it took about 20 dives in the hyperbaric chamber before he started to see any improvement on his legs, but once he did, every day seemed like a new dawn.

Now he only needs to visit the centre occasionally to get his dressing reapplied.

The long, arduous, frustrating and painful journey has inspired the couple to spread the message of the hyperbaric chamber to the wider medical community.

And just like Warwick's wounds, the results have been remarkable.

"Since we've been here, we take photos back to the oncologist and we've been explaining to him what's going on with his recovery," Pam said.

"And now he wants all the information he can get.

"I actually don't think they knew about it!"

Topics:  cancer general-seniors-news hyperbaric chamber hyperbaric medicine skin cancer wellbeing


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