Chick Parr, 63, has never been a “sit around kind of person”– by choice, anyway.
“I take care of the farm machinery, lift heavy bales of hay, feed the animals,” she says of her 75-acre family farm. “It’s hard work, but it’s work that I love.”
Even after a mastectomy five years ago, she continued her active lifestyle. But a side effect from cancer treatment made things difficult for her and for her husband, Gary. That lasted for years.
“After bad burns from radiation treatments, the wound would just not heal,” she says. Despite four years of doctors’ visits and even surgeries, the wound never closed. Preventing infection was always top of mind.
Then, last spring, she connected with Rebecca Marsh, MD, and the staff of the Wound Healing Center at Atlantic Health System's Newton Medical Center. They agreed that hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, was the best next step.
To heal stubborn wounds like those caused by burns and infection and those related to diabetes, for example, the body needs extra oxygen. HBOT works by forcing two to three times the normal rate into the bloodstream.
From the first visit to Newton Medical Center, Parr knew she was in good hands. “Every one of the doctors and nurses are great.” HBOT therapy normally takes weeks, but Parr’s deep wound required months of treatment. Every weekday in the summer of 2019, she visited Newton’s Wound Healing Center for two- or three-hour sessions.
“The trip and appointments took half my day, but it was worth every moment,” she says. “It became something I looked forward to, because they were like a family. Their positive outlook changed my life.”
Parr is especially thankful for her two HBOT nurses, Lisa Pyper and Judith Osterhoudt, who she credits for such a life-changing experience and nominated them for a DAISY Award, an international recognition program that honors and celebrates the skillful, compassionated care nurses provide every day.
“Lisa and Judith’s care and compassion for me can never be forgotten in my lifetime!” she says. “If they treat everyone as they treated me, there are a lot of lucky patients to have them for their care!”
Therapy worked and after years of discomfort and some discouragement, Parr’s wound has healed. In addition, she received more good news this past fall. She’s made another important milestone: She’s five years from her cancer diagnosis and remains cancer-free.
About The DAISY Award® for Extraordinary Nurses
The DAISY (Diseases, Attacking the Immune System) Award is an international recognition program that honors and celebrates the skillful, compassionated care nurses provide every day. The DAISY Foundation was established by the family of J. Patrick Barnes after he died from complications of the auto-immune disease ITP in 1999. During his hospitalization, they deeply appreciated the care and compassion show to Patrick and his entire family. When he died, they felt compelled to say “thank you” to nurses in a very public way. Nurses are nominated by anyone in the organization - patients, family members, other nurses, physicians, other clinicians and staff - anyone who experiences or observes extraordinary compassionate care being provided by a nurse. Through this, we honor the super-human work nurses do for patients and families every day.