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Monday, September 16, 2013 - Wound Center Gets Long-time Oak Ridger Back to the Job He Loves

  Hoyt Padgett, left, is pictured with David Stanley, MD, Medical Director of the Methodist Wound Treatment Center.
Hoyt Padgett of Oak Ridge knows a thing or two about customer service. As a greeter in the Oak Ridge Kroger grocery store, he is the smiling face that welcomes shoppers and bids them farewell. But his welcoming presence has been missing for more than eight months as he’s battled a troublesome wound on his foot. Thanks to the excellent care and service at Methodist Medical Center and the Methodist Wound Treatment Center, Padgett is getting back on his feet, back into the store, and back to the public he loves to serve.

Padgett has a lot of history with Oak Ridge, with its community grocery stores, and with the hospital that has served the city since the war. Padgett moved to town with his wife in 1950 to work at Community Store #1 in Jackson Square where he served behind the meat counter. The war had just ended, the gates to the “Secret City” had only recently been opened, and old-fashioned customer service was still the norm in markets, shops and public facilities.

It was a time when it didn’t seem surprising to see 18 people behind the meat counter where Padgett worked- that was just level of customer service provided. Over the next few years he worked in different grocery stores in Oak Ridge, eventually coming to Bruner’s Supermarket where he worked more than 40 years before retiring in 1991.

It was at Bruner’s that he met and served a young surgeon who had moved to town, David Stanley, MD. It’s “been a few years” since the men first met and both have retired from their respective jobs and yet have returned to their roots to continue serving the public. Dr. Stanley helped establish the Methodist Wound Treatment Center where he treats problem wounds, and Padgett returned the grocery business as a greeter after his wife passed away. And it is here where the two men meet again.

Just a few days after Thanksgiving 2012, Padgett developed a heal spur on his left foot. He continued working and “tiptoeing” around in spite of the problem. He soon noticed that his foot and ankle had become swollen. A trip to his family doctor and later a podiatrist helped determine that the initial heal spur and subsequent swelling were caused by a blood flow issue.

Padgett turned to David Long, MD, a board-certified surgeon on the staff at Methodist Medical Center.

“Dr. Long looked at my foot and sent me right to the hospital,” remembers Padgett.

Padgett says they found a severe blockage in his groin, which was keeping the blood from reaching his ankle and foot. He spent 15 days in the hospital and was beginning to see improvement. Then, Padgett dropped a heavy food container on this same foot, causing a bruise and cut across his big toe, which wouldn’t heal. Another blockage was found and repaired.

Remembering his former surgeon and grocery customer who had opened a wound care center, Padgett requested a referral to Dr. Stanley and the Methodist Wound Treatment Center. Dr. Stanley and the staff at the wound center began treating Padgett but an infection in his foot persisted. An MRI test showed that there was an infection in the bone, which can be difficult to heal, according to Dr. Stanley.

“About 50% of bone infections don’t heal,” Dr. Stanley said. “Many require surgery.”

Dr. Stanley referred Padgett to Naseem Saadia, MD, an infectious disease specialist on staff at Methodist Medical Center.

“Dr. Saadia put me on a six week program of antibiotics and by the end it had healed completely,” said Padgett. As an aside he added, “I have never met a nicer person.”

Padgett had feared his bone infection would require surgery, but with the infection gone, he was able to work with the Wound Treatment Center to fully heal his foot.  In addition to wound care, Padgett’s treatment included “dives” in the center’s hyperbaric oxygen chambers.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, or HBOT, allows a patient to breathe 100% oxygen under pressure. This causes the oxygen to diffuse into the blood plasma. This oxygen-rich plasma is able to travel past the restriction, diffusing up to 3 times farther into the tissue. The pressurized environment helps to reduce swelling and discomfort, while providing the body with at least 10 times its normal supply of oxygen to help repair damaged tissue.

Some people are a little hesitant about the HBOT chambers because they are enclosed. But the clear chambers are roomy and designed to make the patients as comfortable as possible.

“I enjoyed it,” said Padgett, who has had more than a month of HBOT sessions. “You just lay there and watch TV, rest, or take a nap. It hasn’t bothered me at all.”

In fact, Padgett is actually going to miss the wound center staff including those who monitor the HBOT chambers.

“The staff at the Methodist Wound Treatment Center couldn’t be nicer,” he notes. “I hate not to see them when my treatment is over.”

Throughout his experience at Methodist Medical Center and the Methodist Wound Treatment Center, Padgett says he has found the customer service and care that he so greatly values.

“I’ve seen lots of changes in the retail business,” said Padgett. “I’ve seen when things weren’t about customer service, but now stores – even hospitals – are bringing back that old customer service.”

Padgett recalls that he’s always gotten excellent care at Methodist, which he’s used for his medical needs for 60 years.

“I would say on a scale of one to 10, I’d give them an 11 or 12,” he jokes. “I’ve never had anything but the best service.”

And from a man who knows customer service like Padgett does, that’s quite a compliment.

Padgett has completed his treatment at the Methodist Wound Center and has been approved by Dr. Stanley to return to work.

“I’m just tickled to go back to work,” says Padgett. “I’m 87, so I’m not ready to quit working. That’s why Dr. Stanley and the wound center had to get me healed.”

Padgett has a lot to look forward to. He’s returning to work, to the people he loves, and an industry he has served for nearly half a century. And soon there will be even more to celebrate.

“The new Kroger Market Place will open in Oak Ridge next year, and I hope to be there,” said Padgett.

Learn more about the Methodist Wound Treatment Center. Click Here.