A NEW health service has protected an Armadale man from leg amputation and a life-threatening bone infection.
The South Metropolitan Area Health Service last year launched foot care and diabetes education service Moorditj Djena, which means ‘Strong Feet’ or ‘Good Feet’ in the Nyoongar language.
Its latest success story is diabetic Joseph Cameron, who had one of his left toes amputated in 2008 and his right toes in mid-2010.
Fremantle Hospital’s wound clinic noticed last August that Mr Cameron had been missing after-care appointments and called in Moorditj Djena.
The service’s staff visited Mr Cameron and treated the infection he had developed, but had to rush him to Armadale-Kelmscott Memorial Hospital when they saw the infection travel up his leg bone.
“It was a life-threatening situation and he definitely would have lost his leg had we not become involved,” manager Maureen Unsworth said.
The Moorditj Djena team have managed his care since then, driving him to Fremantle for hospital appointments and visiting frequently in case things went wrong.
“Self-management is an ongoing, slow process but he is doing well and really wants to get better,” Ms Unsworth said.
“He’s changed from someone who had given up to someone who thinks, ‘Yes, I can do this’.”
Mr Cameron said it had been a terrible time but he was feeling better, was glad to have his leg and was looking forward to getting a special shoe that would help him walk without his walker and wheelchair.
Ms Unsworth said members of Mr Cameron’s family, who also had diabetes, could now see that it was a manageable disease.
“If younger generations see their Pop or Nanna get well, it gives them hope,” she said.