For 27-years MaryAnn (DeVita) Niceforo worked behind the counter at a bank. Even after five years of retirement, she still misses the job, both the people she worked with and the customers she took care of.
She finds reasons to stop by and say hi. Like cookies. Every December she bakes upwards of 2,000 treats and drops off plates of baked goods to family, friends and co-workers.
This past year, the cookies didn’t get made, let alone delivered.
In the summer, MaryAnn noticed blood in her bra. She assumed she’d been scratched and applied some ointment. The next day the blood returned. This pattern continued for a month.
Finally she decided to make an appointment with her surgeon, Chand Rohatgi, M.D., an independent member of the Easton Hospital Medical Staff.
A decade earlier he removed her right breast because of cancer. She wondered if the spotting was related to her cancer.
When Dr. Rohatgi saw the blood, he sent her to see Infectious Disease Specialist Saman Kannangara, M.D. at the Easton Hospital Wound Center.
Healing after cancer treatment can take years, and the wounds often develop from the inside out. This wound, about the size of a quarter, took years even to surface.
MaryAnn knows about the pain of hidden wounds. As a bank teller, she was held at gun point during a robbery. The trauma and stress that followed that incident took years to heal… only to have it happen again during another robbery at gun point.
But MaryAnn is a fighter. “That’s because of my tough Italian mother,” she says. A mother who had breast cancer. A sister too. Aunts. Cousins. MaryAnn comes from a long line of survivors.
Dr. Kannangara prescribed 60 hyperbaric oxygen dives. MaryAnn arrived first thing every morning for nearly two months. She’d slide inside the chamber and breathe pure oxygen for two hours.
Body tissue needs more oxygen to heal from an injury. Hyperbaric treatments increase the amount of oxygen carried in the blood and stimulate healing.
Easton Hospital Wound Healing Center was recently recognized by Healogics, the nation’s largest provider of advanced wound healing services, for excellent patient outcomes, high patient satisfaction and outstanding clinical performance. Only 173 centers in the country were recognized for meeting the measures.
The treatment worked. “The wound is gone,” she says. “And believe me, I check everyday.”
She saw firsthand the wounds other patients bring to the center in hopes for a miracle and glad she got hers.
“I’m so grateful for this center,” she says. “The staff are wonderful and the care is excellent.”
That’s good news for others who count on her cookies. “I’m back in the kitchen,” she says. Her father was a baker, a career she still considers.
“If only I was younger, then I’d open a tea shop and serve scones, cookies and tea,” she says.
Then she could share the recipes handed down from her tough Italian mom.
250 South 21st Street
Easton, PA 18042-3892