As identical twins, Harl and Carl Steen have done a lot of things together. If you saw one, you saw the other — literally.
Besides looking alike, at one point they dressed alike, both played baseball, and now live together. But what they didn’t expect was for their closeness and familiarities to produce similar physical health conditions.
Both Harl and Carl were recent patients of the Sandhills Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine. They were each in the hyperbaric chambers at the same time.
“We’ve had a brother and sister, an uncle and a niece, and a mother and son at the same time, but not twins to ‘dive’ at the same time,” said Amy McLain, hyperbaric oxygen technician.
Both Harl and Carl are diabetics and are both being treated for lower diabetic extremity wounds, McLain said.
Carl was a patient at the wound center first for osteomyelitis, a bone infection in his feet. He’s already had toe amputations on his right and left feet, but was sent to the wound care center by his physician to “… save the rest of his foot,” he said. His infection is now cleared.
“It works. My foot is healed,” Carl said of the wound care therapy.
Harl was facing a possible toe amputation, but not after being treated at the wound care center.
They each give credit to the wound care center for preventing more serious health care problems.
The Sandhills Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine has a healing rate of 98 percent, said Hazel Seibles, program director.
Patients who qualify for HBO (hyperbaric oxygen) therapy experience faster wound healing as they breathe in 100 percent oxygen under pressure in a hyperbaric chamber. On average, a healthy person breathes 21 percent oxygen in a normal environment. While breathing 100 percent oxygen in the chamber, the patient’s blood, platelets and tissues are forced to over-saturate with oxygen thereby accelerating the healing process.
For more information about the wound care center, call 910-205-1525. Self-referrals are accepted.