Penny Dennis loves to swim. Every summer when the pool opens near her house near Fountain Hill, she's the first one in the water to swim laps for an hour. But in 2014, her healthy habit led to an infection.
She had a bunion on her foot, and soon a callus formed on her big toe. Her podiatrist at the time scrapped the callus off. That open sore combined with pool water led to pain, redness and a bad infection.
Over the counter cream didn't help. An antibiotic didn't help. Soon an X-ray indicated the infection was in the bone.
The podiatrist wanted to amputate, but Penny didn't like that plan.
Instead she called the Easton Hospital Wound Healing Center for a second opinion. She had used the center a few years earlier when another toe was infected.
That's where she met Infectious Disease specialist Wesley Kozinn, M.D.
"He was a lifesaver," she says. "In fact, I remember what he said to me that day. 'I'm in the business of keeping toes attached to people.'"
That was just what she wanted to hear.
But the infection was a bad one. To clear it up, she needed intense treatment. Her regimen included a course of antibiotics at the Easton Hospital Infusion Center.
"I went there seven days a week," she said. After three weeks, the infection was gone. She was thrilled.
But her journey wasn't done. The wound was still open. So she began hyperbaric oxygen treatments - two hours a day, five days a week.
"Dr. Kozinn called it the icing on the cake," she says.
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.
After 52 treatments, the wound was healed. "The staff gave me a diploma on my last day," Penny says. "Everyone there was so fun and nice. They care about what they do and made me feel comfortable."
And Penny knows a thing about good service. For twenty years she and her husband operated a convenience store on Bushkill Street in Easton that was open every day of the year.
"Customers counted on us being there," she says. "Just like I counted on the people at Easton Hospital."
"Dr. Kozinn saved my big toe which has helped save my life," Penny says. She is back swimming again, caring for her grandchildren and creating crafts for her booth at Tilghman Square.
"Dr. Kozinn was extremely kind and conscientious," she says. "He scheduled my appointments for tests, called me at home with updates, answered when I called his office and even stopped by to say hi when I was having infusion treatments. He really cared about me… from head to toe."
250 South 21st Street
Easton, PA 18042-3892