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Retired Professor has “Debt of Gratitude” to VNA Care and Donates to Support Essential Patient Care that He’s Experienced for Himself

There was no question who Patrick Ireland would turn to when he needed highly skilled nursing services at home. His loyalty to VNA Care began nearly 30 years ago when the nonprofit provided end-of-life care to his wife Jeanettea.

“I was very admiring of all the nurses who came. I thought we were in very good hands and prepared for the end,” said Patrick. “I have always had a debt of gratitude to VNA Care.”

Through the years, Patrick supported VNA Care’s mission as a donor because “the work VNA Care does is essential. It’s important to have VNA Care’s services in the community because there are people who have medical needs that cannot otherwise be met.”

Patrick has turned to VNA Care’s home health care team on more than one occasion for his own medical care. Most recently, the team helped him with a wound on the sole of his foot that would not heal.

Nancy Koutsoukounis, RN, served as his primary nurse (pictured with Patrick). She taught Patrick how to administer IV antibiotics prescribed to treat the infected wound and maintain the IV line.

Patrick’s allergy to adhesives necessitated careful and extensive wrapping of his foot to keep other wound treatments in place. At times, the dressing needed to be changed daily to support the healing process.

“It was always good when Nancy would do some measurements of the wound when the bandages were removed and tell you when it was an improvement,” said Patrick. “You need to hear that.”

Nancy also monitored Patrick’s INR (international normalized ratio) level, or how long it takes blood to clot. His wound can ultimately be traced to high INR levels that put him at increased risk of bleeding, and getting the level stable and in normal range was important for Patrick’s overall health.

Throughout Patrick’s months receiving services from VNA Care, Nancy was a invaluable resource.

He said, “I’m a retired academic. I thrive on information and data. Nancy’s very good at explaining what she’s doing and why it has to be done. She’s very good at educating you to things that are important, about what’s happening to you, and why it’s happening.”

With Nancy’s support, Patrick’s condition improved dramatically, allowing him to transition to outpatient wound care.

He added, “I’m a great believer in VNA Care’s services for people from all walks of life and all different capabilities who cannot do for themselves what a visiting nurse can.”

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