CareSouth Carolina Patient Success Story, Karen Melton

February 28th 2019

HARTSVILLE — “I hope we’re going to be able save your leg.”

Those were the words that Karen Melton, a Hartsville native, heard on Wednesday, January 9 when she made a visit to CareSouth Carolina.

Melton came to CareSouth Carolina after a period of 13 days in the hospital. She said it all started on Christmas Eve when she and her husband Shawn were at his brother’s house celebrating the holiday.

“I began throwing up and running a very high fever,” Melton said. “We went to the ER and they did blood work and prescribed medications, but after a day, we still couldn’t get the fever down. The nurse asked me if anything hurt when I came back, and I said there was a little spot on my ankle that was burning.”

Ultimately, what looked like a small rash on her ankle spread to her entire leg and turned a very dark color, almost similar to that of a burn victim.

“My fever was still up and it got worse and worse,” Melton said. “I actually spiked a temperature of 104.4.”

Melton made an appointment to see Jennifer Lynch on Wednesday, January 9 and said she was shocked to hear that she could potentially lose her leg.

“Jennifer came in and said ‘I hope to save your leg,’” Melton said. “My jaw just dropped.”

Over the next few weeks, Melton underwent IV Therapy and wound treatment with Lynch and continued to see a dermatologist. The IV Infusion department was started in 2016 as a way to treat complex patients in the outpatient setting, with the same quality of care they would receive in the hospital. Patients with skin, lung, and bone infections have been treated since the department has been started. Because of the quality of care these patients receive by the experienced critical care nurses, lives and limbs have been saved.

The CareSouth Carolina IV Department infused IV antibiotics twice a day for 28 total doses and provided daily wound care to help Melton recover from her lower limb cellulitis.

“In many ways I had to be treated like a burn victim,” Melton said. “In 10 days, Jennifer and the nurses made it go from this dark, discolored and swollen leg, and got it under control. I’m able to walk and am getting back to being active again.”

Melton said she is working with medical professionals, including Lynch, to find out what caused the break out and will undergo an MRI and potentially have scrape-ins as precautionary measures.

“There’s still a process to get back to 100 percent,” Melton said. “We’re still trying to figure out what caused it and what exactly is going on, but I know I’m in good hands going forward and there’s been great progress.”

“If it wasn’t for Jennifer, I don’t know what would’ve happened,” Melton said.

CareSouth Carolina is a private, non-profit community health center delivering patient-centered health and life services in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. CareSouth Carolina operates centers in Bennettsville, Bishopville, Cheraw, Chesterfield, Dillon, Hartsville, Lake View, Latta, McColl and Society Hill. Services provided by CareSouth Carolina include family practice, internal medicine, pediatrics, women services, OB/GYN, HIV/AIDS primary care, dental, chiropractic services, pharmacy, geriatrics, social services, clinical counseling, laboratory, 4D ultrasound, X-Ray, migrant services and veterans choice provider.

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