Prince William County man credits team at Sentara Heart & Vascular Center for saving his foot
Sentara Heart & Vascular Center team saves man's foot after COVID complications.
Step by step, Matt Kinsey’s life is returning to normal after COVID almost cost him his foot. What started as a cold quickly turned more severe. When symptoms worsen and it got to the point where he couldn’t walk, that’s when Matt realized this wasn’t an ordinary cold.
“Six days from when symptoms first started, I was pretty much laid up, feeling as bad as I had ever felt. I never felt that sick before,” remembers the 43-year-old.
The entire Kinsey family wound up with COVID-19. The family had much milder cases, but Matt, who doesn’t have any underlining health conditions, just couldn’t shake it.
After being out for about two weeks dealing with COVID, and then bronchitis, Matt was planning to return to work, “I was able to walk even though I was really short of breath. I couldn’t really speak without feeling like I had just jogged a mile, but ironically, right before I was preparing to go back, my foot started hurting.”
Initially, Matt thought he had knocked into something, but a little pain grew to the point where he could barely walk. Five days after that initial discomfort, Matt was able to see his doctor, “She looked at my foot. There was no pulse, my foot was ice cold.” The doctor scheduled an appointment at the Sentara Heart & Vascular Center for the next day.
“When I went in, they did their test, and I remember the woman just got up and walked out. That’s when she brought in the doctor,” remembers Matt.
Dr. Venu Vadlamudi, a Vascular and Interventional Radiologist, realized immediately the severity of Matt’s case. “He initially had no direct blood flow from below the knee down to the foot, as the vessels were obstructed by multiple clots.”
Dr. Vadlamudi and the team developed a multiphase treatment plan, “We used a combination of clot-busting medicine and also catheters to suck out clots in order to restore blood flow to his leg and foot. He was at higher risk for amputation given his clinical presentation/examination.”
In all, Matt had three procedures. Doctors were able to save his leg.
“I feel tremendously proud our team was able to see him and treat him so quickly and save him from a life-altering below-knee amputation,” says Dr. Vadlamudi.
While respiratory ailments associated with COVID have been widely publicized, Dr. Vadlamudi says symptoms like Matt’s are not uncommon, “COVID affects blood vessels and clotting. We saw a lot of patients with DVTs, PEs, and even some like Matt with arterial clots. I think it is important that people know COVID is not only a pulmonary disease, but really seems to be a systemic disease.”
After nearly a week in the hospital, Matt was able to return home and eventually to work, all thanks to the team at Sentara.
“I’m not in pain anymore. They were able to save my foot and my toes. The best doctors I’ve ever encountered, as caring as you can imagine,” says Matt. “These guys were fantastic. Everybody from the staff to every nurse that came to visit me in the ICU to every doctor and all the employees that had to deal with me… they were professional and polite. I would absolutely recommend Sentara to anyone.”
Dr. Vadlamudi is happy Matt’s case had a positive outcome, but he stresses the importance of early detection and diagnosis, “Any patient having acute onset of leg pain should be evaluated for possible blood flow issues (DVT or even possible arterial clot) since prompt diagnosis and treatment can make a significant difference to their outcome.”
Learn more about the Sentara Heart & Vascular Center at sentara.com/heart or call 703-523-1980.
By: Susan Bahorich