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From the House chamber to the hyperbaric chamber

Former Georgia State House Representative Terry Johnson, 62, was diagnosed with diabetes when he was 9 years old. Throughout his life, he’s experienced several diabetes-related complications, including diabetic retinopathy, a disease that causes damage to the retina’s blood vessels, as well as cardiac issues.

However, Johnson’s biggest concern has been the healing process on his outer extremities, a problem many long-time diabetics face due to poor circulation and nerve damage. “When I was campaigning during the last election, I had trouble with my right foot,” he explains. Seen frequently in those with diabetes, the structure of Johnson’s foot had changed, causing his arch to relax. “I started having a rubbing sensation on the right edge of my foot, which resulted in an abrasion,” he says.

Johnson’s physician told him this was caused by unusual bone growth in his foot and recommended removing the bone. After this procedure, Johnson noticed that his wound was taking longer to heal than it should have and found himself unable to take part in the activities he usually enjoyed. “I found myself not able to go to as many social functions, not attend church on a regular basis, something that I’d enjoyed doing in the past,” he says. “I have two sons, one who lives in St. Louis and the other in Chicago. We really had to limit our visits. I think I only saw them twice during that period of time.”

A patient’s experience in the hyperbaric chamber

To treat his condition, Piedmont physicians prescribed a treatment plan included oxygen therapy in a hyperbaric chamber, regular cleaning of the wound and antibiotics. “Following the operation, it probably took a period of about seven months and that involved treatments from the hyperbaric chamber and seeing the doctor with weekly and bi-weekly visits,” says Johnson. “The hyperbaric chamber was something new to me because I’d never seen one until I went to Piedmont,” he says.

Johnson enjoyed being able to listen to music or watch a DVD while in the hyperbaric chamber. “You’re encapsulated in the chamber for a 90-minute treatment. I had 40 of these treatments over a span of eight weeks.” Thanks to his treatment plan, Johnson has recovered and is able to visit his sons in Chicago and St. Louis.

“What I liked about Piedmont and about the Wound Care Center is that it’s a full-court press,” he explains. “The doctors come in to see you, as well as the physician’s assistant and the wound care specialist. All of them are working together to make sure that you get the best prescription and best treatment that they can recommend.”

Piedmont has five Wound Care & Hyperbaric Centers:

Piedmont Hospital Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center
1968 Peachtree Road, NW
Atlanta, Georgia 30309
Phone: 404.605.3580

Piedmont Fayette Hospital Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center
1255 Highway 54 West
Fayetteville, Georgia 30214
Phone: 770.719.7256

Piedmont Henry Hospital
1133 Eagle’s Landing Parkway
Stockbridge, Georgia 30281
Phone: 678.604.1061

Piedmont Mountainside Hospital Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center
620 J.L. White Drive, Suite 140
Jasper, Georgia 30143
Phone: 706.692.9016

Piedmont Newnan Hospital Wound Care & Hyperbaric Center
62 Hospital Road
Newnan, Georgia 30263
Phone: 770.254.3331

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