In His Own Words

Fighting Cancer and Leg Wound with FHN’s Expertise

'You bump your leg and your life changes'

When dealing with his leg injury on vacation, a CT scan revealed that Jeff Lamm had follicular lymphoma. When he returned home, he quickly began treatment at the Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center at FHN Memorial Hospital, under the care of Arhad Shaikh, MD, and team. Here, Jeff and his wife, Kathy, pose in the Center’s Healing Garden with Dr. Shaikh and Julie Nampel, MSN, RN.


When Jeff Lamm was on vacation in Florida, he never dreamed that banging his leg on a boat would put him in the hospital and signal the start of a long healthcare journey. As he says, “You just never know. It was freakish.”

After bumping his leg, the injury quickly accelerated into a hematoma (an abnormal collection of blood outside of a blood vessel). “It blew up with blood,” Jeff shares, “and the swelling just kept building. So, I went to the ER for evaluation, and they told me that ruptured arteries would need to be drained. Well, that was just the beginning.”

< strong >A TELLING TEST

A CT scan showed that Jeff also had follicular lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma that would require additional treatment. After spending a week in the hospital, he came home and went to his primary care provider, FHN’s Julianne Ross, FNP-BC, who made some important referrals. She suggested he confer with The Leonard C. Ferguson Cancer Center at FHN Memorial Hospital for his lymphoma regimen, and The Center for Wound Healing at FHN for his battered leg, which was not healing well.

Jeff was treated simultaneously for both conditions. “I lucked out with an easily treatable form of cancer,” he explains, “and everyone at the Ferguson Cancer Center was great. Dr. (Arshad) Shaikh and Julie Nampel (Director) were excellent to work with, and all the staff were so helpful. I had chemo once a month for six months, and will keep being evaluated every two months for two years. I feel good about my future.”


Jeff’s hematoma, however, left a gaping hole in his leg and his wound care challenges were formidable. At his first visit to The Center for Wound Healing at FHN, the wound was debrided and assessed by Dr. Rafael Castro, MD, FACS, WCC. Since wounds may not heal as well when a patient is receiving chemo and taking blood thinners, Dr. Castro determined that a wound vacuum would benefit Jeff’s recovery. Terri Groezinger, PA-C, says, “Our staff has seen incredible results with the help of this sophisticated tool. It applies gentle suction to a wound to promote healing, while drawing out fluid and infection.”

“The staff at the wound center was meticulous,” Jeff explains. “Early on we thought I might need a skin graft, but the wound vac helped me heal and make new skin. I visited the Center three times a week for over five months, and at each appointment they changed my dressing, checked for infection, and measured and photographed my wound to document my progress. It was incremental – it definitely took a while! But we started to see reduced swelling, and slowly but surely my wound healed and the pain subsided. I am so grateful for them and for my wife, Kathy. Without her, none of this recovery works. She is REALLY my better half.”


Now, Jeff has ‘graduated’ from The Center for Wound Healing and is pain free. “I can’t say enough about my care!” he exclaims.