Burn Scars Make ‘Unbelievable’ Improvement With New Laser Treatments

Leo Woelkers Yoga

Part of Leo Woelkers’ recovery includes participating in an LVHN study called Yoga for Burn Survivors.

After an underground explosion set fire to Leo Woelkers’ legs, body and face, he spent four months in a coma while his third- and fourth-degree burns were treated at the Regional Burn Center at Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest. He went home after another four months of inpatient rehabilitation, but scarring presented new challenges.

The 55-year-old is finding relief thanks to new fractional laser treatments. Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) burn surgeon Sigrid Blome-Eberwein, MD, is using lasers to remodel the look and feel of his scars.

“It will never go back to what my skin was like before,” he says. “But from what the scars were like before to now – it’s unbelievable.”

Woelkers shares his story in this article that appears in the January-February 2014 issue of Healthy You.

Learn more about how LVHN treats burns.

Tickets Still Available For 8th Annual Valley Preferred Spirit of Courage Awards

2012 Spirit of Courage award recipients

Emergency responders are recognized at the 2012 Valley Preferred Spirit of Courage Awards.

Burn survivors, civilians and first responders will be honored for acts of heroism or a commitment to burn prevention or education during the eighth annual Valley Preferred Spirit of Courage Awards. If you would like to attend the event at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8, call 610-402-CARE to register.

One group receiving an award is from Jackson Township.  Volunteer firefighter Nick Andriola wasn’t even aware flames were almost at his back as he worked to free Shelly King’s legs from the crumpled dashboard of her Chevy cargo van. Fellow firefighter Ken Werkheiser saw the approaching flames and used a pocket knife to cut the seat belt tangled around King’s arm. As the fire approached the rescuers, Jackson Township volunteer fire Chief Lester Wolcott arrived, reached in and bent the driver’s seat backward in an attempt to free King. Read More »

Category: Community Happenings
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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett Sees TeleHealth in Action During LVHN Visit

Gov. Corbett and Trudy Singley

“Without (telemedicine), I don’t know what would have happened to me, but I am sure I would have been severely disabled or worse,” Trudy Singley said today when Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, left, visited Lehigh Valley Health Network. On the right is LVHN neurologist (Hermann) Christian Schumacher, MD.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett visited Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) today to get a closer view of the telehealth services LVHN offers across the region, as well as the impact those services make in patients’ lives.

“Telemedicine is the future of health care,” Corbett said. “The ability to grow telemedicine networks is the way to bring world-class health care to patients across the commonwealth.”

During his LVHN visit, Corbett spoke with Trudy Singley, an emergency room nurse at Hazleton General Hospital (HGH). As a health care professional, Singley understands the importance of LVHN’s TeleStroke program in the lives of patients who come to HGH with stroke-like symptoms. That’s because she experienced the program firsthand. Read More »

Outpatient and Inpatient Burn Care Now Together Inside LVHN Regional Burn Center

burn recovery center treatment room

This is a room in the new Walter J. and June H. Okunski Burn Recovery Center for outpatient treatment, which is now adjacent to the inpatient are of the Lehigh Valley Health Network Regional Burn Center.

Lehigh Valley Health Network’s Regional Burn Center kicked off National Burn Awareness Week with an announcement of a new Burn Recovery Center.  The network now offers comprehensive inpatient and outpatient burn care in adjacent locations.

On Jan. 22, the outpatient burn unit, known as the Walter J. and June H. Okunski Burn Recovery Center, was moved from 1210 S. Cedar Crest Blvd. to the third floor of the Kasych Family Pavilion, right next to the inpatient burn unit.  The move allows Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) caregivers to take a holistic, team-oriented approach to burn care from start to finish. Patients will receive care in the same location for the duration of the healing process.

Read More »

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Thanksgiving Dinner Helps Hackerman-Patz House Guests Feel at Home

Judilynn Jukola of Lebanon, Pa., and her son, Keaton, were among the family members and guests treated to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at the Hackerman-Patz House, a family lodging facility on the campus of Lehigh Valley Hospital—Cedar Crest.

A team of employees from Lehigh Valley Health Network’s home care department volunteered to bring homemade goodies that included potato filling, cranberry sauce and a table full of baked goods, highlighted by Pennsylvania Dutch molasses cake. The feast yielded days of leftovers for families staying at the house. Jukola’s son, Christian, was receiving treatment in LVHN’s Regional Burn Center. “It was truly an amazing, memorable, holiday,” says Hackerman-Patz House staff assistant Gina Jones. “I was moved to tears to see such kindness from my colleagues and the appreciation on the faces of our guests.”

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