DirectConnect was contacted by HandiKos, a non-profit organization in Kosovo, and asked to bring medical professionals to Kosovo to address the problem of pressure sores. This condition affects many people suffering from paralysis. DCHA responded by bringing two registered nurses from the U.S. to provide a week-long training session at HandiKos on the prevention and treatment of pressure sores. After the classroom instruction DCHA, along with the nurses, were asked to visit some individuals with sores who were confined to their homes. A local nurse who was familiar with the patients and their particular situations escorted us to three homes. (pictured right) At one home we visited, we found a young woman in a wheelchair living in deplorable conditions. She suffered from multiple pressure sores due to her paralysis and was not receiving proper care. The combination of her health challenges and poor living conditions in her home, which lacked even running water or adequate toilet facilities, resulted in depression and hopelessness for her. After some visits to give proper care, which included treatment with special cream and good bandages, this young woman was happier and had a more positive outlook on life.
After discussing the situation with the home care nurse, DCHA agreed to provide financial support to improve the situation. Quality medicine would be needed along with regular visits from the home care nurse in order to heal the sores. We paid for the medicines and nursing services including travel expenses for the nurse. The local nurse from HandiKos made regular visits over a four month period.
At the end of three months, the home care nurse reported great progress was being made with the wounds. She advised that an additional month of care would be very beneficial for the more severe wounds. This proved successful according to the latest update that stated two of her wounds finally closed, and she is now able to treat them with ointment. Other wounds are progressing well but will take more time to close completely.
The nurse also reported that this young woman has suffered some insect bites, which are causing another infection in her body, but she is receiving treatment for that as well. The nurse said, “Someday you will come back to Kosovo and will be surprised by the condition of this young woman; she is more positive and loves to live.”