Skip to main content

Home Health Patient Finds Hope in VNA Care’s Compassionate Clinicians

Steven Racki thought he finally had complications from diabetes under control. Then the pandemic came and “blew everything right off.”

Deliveries of crucial medical supplies were suddenly unreliable, and, like so many others with chronic health conditions, Steven faced challenges accessing in-person health care. He tried working with a few home health care agencies, but none offered the level of nursing care he needed, until VNA Care stepped in. RN visits with a patient

Steven is dealing with edema (swelling caused by fluid retention) and skin ulcers affecting both of his legs. These are serious problems that can become painful, reduce mobility, increase risk for falls, and contribute to further deterioration.

Steven is now getting the help he needs to get his condition back under control. VNA Care’s home-based health care services are providing chronic disease management for his diabetes and tending to his wounds. Martin Thelusma, RN, WOCN (wound, ostomy and continence nurse specialist), and Christina Peterson, RN, bring expert nursing care into Steven’s home while Andrea Hein, MSW (medical social worker), provides additional support and linkage to resources for Steven during this challenging time.

Steven said, “They are such nice, compassionate, wonderful people.”

He described one of the ways the nurses treat his wounds as delicately “scrubbing” his legs, being very careful not to cause him pain. The process removes dead skin and can help healthy tissue start growing again. The nurses then apply a special three-layer compression wrap on his legs to promote better circulation and wound healing.

For those with diabetes, one may experience slower healing or develop wounds that do not heal at all due to poor circulation. Left untreated, these wounds can lead to serious infections, gangrene and amputation.

“They understand the patient and the patient’s needs, and they have compassion for them as they are treating them,” said Steven.

In just five weeks, he’s showing impressive improvement. While he still has a long road ahead of him, VNA Care’s home health care team will remain by his side.

“This is all 100% from my heart. I mean what I say about the staff who’ve been taking care of me. Everybody goes above and beyond,” said Steven. “I didn’t have hope before. Now I have hope. I really do.”

This article first appeared in the Spring 2022 edition of Caring Matters.

Pictured: Christina Peterson, RN, is part of the team providing diabetes and wound care to Steven Racki. 

Share this page