Stories of Impact

Pauline Augello's Story

Lifelong Elba resident, Pauline Augello, has first-hand experience with the transformative impact Rochester Regional Health is making on her community.

Turn back the clock twenty years, and Pauline had a cyst doctors feared might be cancerous. Her local hospital, United Memorial Medical Center (UMMC), was ill-equipped for the case at the time, and she was transferred out of town. Fast forward to today at UMMC, and Pauline is receiving world-class care spanning every level of the healthcare continuum right in her home town...this time for an even more urgent, life-threatening matter.

Late last year, Pauline was experiencing persistent pain from a partially open wound that had become infected. As a diabetic, she knew wounds could be difficult to heal and result in serious complications.

First, she visited urgent care, where cultured tissues revealed cellulitis, a common, but potentially serious bacterial skin infection, and was prescribed antibiotics that proved ineffective. Her condition worsened, and Pauline visited her Primary Care physician, Dr. Anna Lamb, who immediately sent her to the Emergency Department at UMMC.

Within one hour, Pauline was admitted and in the operating room with Dr. Samar Alami, diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, a rare, aggressive, flesh-eating bacteria that kills 1 out of every 4 it infects. Time was of the essence. A life-saving surgical debridement procedure was performed to remove the affected tissue and prevent further damage.

"From there, I moved to the ICU for four days and then on to Dr. John Wickett in the Wound Care Center," Pauline recalls. "For weeks I endured excruciating dressing changes and wound cleansing procedures eased only by the gentle, patient and reassuring hands of my amazing doctors and nurses. I can’t say enough good things about them."

After being discharged from the hospital, Pauline continued her journey to heal through physical rehabilitation, along with weekly visits to UMMC’s Wound Care Center for check ups and dressing changes. Within three and a half months, Pauline was fully healed and back to work.

"Twenty years ago, I had to be transferred because the care I needed wasn't available here. Now, because UMMC is part of Rochester Regional Health, everything I need is right here in Batavia. It means so much to have this level of care available to me now. UMMC is so great for our community. I am so grateful for the care I received there.”

Because Care Matters
Pauline Augello’s life-saving journey joined several of Rochester Regional Health's inpatient and outpatient services into one seamless healthcare experience made possible by our commitment to bring consistently exceptional care to more people where and when they need it. To learn more about how you can support Rochester Regional Health, call 585.922.4800.

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