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Physician Collaboration Keep Great Grandmother on Go

Thursday, January 26, 2012 - Danbury, CT

Physician Collaberation Helps Great Grandmother on the Go

Robert Deveney, M.D.
Co-Director of the Joint Program
Danbury Hospital
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John E. Mullen, M.D.
Orthopedic Surgeon
New Milford Hospital
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Marguerite Morsey has 16 grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and one more on the way. Her growing family is one of the ways she stays active and in-touch, after raising her seven children and retiring to enjoy her leisure time with bus trips, reading, knitting and crocheting, and using her new computer to view the kids on Skype.

But last year, Marguerite had to turn her energy inward – her patience tested during three surgeries and nine months of recovery to mend her hip with the help of the advanced orthopedic specialists at Danbury Hospital and New Milford Hospital. An injured foot on a trip to Panama in 2008 eventually spread an infection to her hip, leading the 84-year-old Roxbury resident to the office of New Milford orthopedic surgeon John Mullen, M.D.

After removing Marguerite’s 15-year-old hip replacement and implanting a temporary hip, Dr. Mullen treated her with antibiotics to pave the way for a new hip replacement in the near future. “We had to clear the infection before we could proceed with another surgery, which required Marguerite to minimize weight-bearing activities by using a walker or wheelchair for more than a month,” Dr. Mullen said.

The affiliation between New Milford Hospital and Danbury Hospital provided an added benefit, bringing Dr. Mullen together with Robert Deveney, M.D., a Danbury orthopedic surgeon also specializing in advanced hip techniques. During a second surgery at Danbury Hospital, they determined that Marguerite’s infection had not cleared, and it was too early to complete a permanent hip replacement. They cleaned the surgical site and implanted another temporary hip – this one loaded with antibiotics, while also treating her with intravenous antibiotics – an innovation that provides mobility for the patient in between surgeries.

The combination offered a more aggressive, high-dose antibiotic therapy over a six-week period that was effective in clearing the infection. In August 2011, Marguerite got her permanent hip and has since completed inpatient and home rehabilitation to return to a normal lifestyle.

Dr. Deveney said, “Most patients don’t have to endure two surgeries to clear such an infection. The joint reconstruction process was challenging for Marguerite, but she tolerated it remarkably well. She was very determined, and I think her other interests were an inspiration in her recovery.”

Marguerite agreed, saying, “I had great care at both hospitals and my extended care facility. Everyone was so helpful and I was stubborn about not giving up. I worked very hard every day in my therapy, and it has paid off. I’ve learned to walk again. I have a big family, and I’ve got plans.”

For more information about advanced orthopedic care at Western Connecticut Health Network, call 1-800-482-1387.

About Western Connecticut Health Network

Western Connecticut Health Network is a patient-centered health care organization established in 2010 by two nationally recognized hospitals, Danbury Hospital, New Milford Hospital and their affiliated organizations, to provide the highest level of care to patients throughout Western Connecticut and adjacent New York. In addition to the two hospitals, other network affiliates include:

  • An integrated physician practice with primary and specialty care expertise
  • An agency for home care and community health services
  • A full-service retail pharmacy located at Danbury Hospital
  • Emergency medical services
  • An occupational wellness and medicine program, providing services for business and industry

Western Connecticut Health Network has centers of excellence in Women’s, neonatal, cardiovascular and cancer services; weight loss and orthopedic surgery; digestive disorders and radiology and diagnostic imaging. It also offers specialized programs for sleep disorders and asthma management.  Both hospitals also maintain active clinical research programs, offering clinical trials for patients with cancer and other health concerns.

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About Danbury Hospital

Danbury Hospital is a 371-bed regional medical center and university teaching hospital associated with the University of Vermont College of Medicine, the Yale University School of Medicine, the Connecticut School of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center.  The hospital is nationally recognized as a tertiary health care center with an innovative high-tech, high-touch environment and is also a member of the Planetree organization. In addition to offering the latest robotic and minimally invasive surgical and imaging technology, it was the first hospital in Connecticut to adopt electronic health records systems. It offers a Level II Trauma Center and Level IIIb Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Medical staff members are board-certified in their specialties, and most serve as faculty members of the nation’s finest university medical centers offering a higher level of experience. 

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About New Milford Hospital

New Milford Hospital is a Planetree organization dedicated to patient-centered care that nurtures every patient's body, mind and spirit.  The Hospital has an extraordinary tradition of warm and caring personal attention backed by top-notch physicians, world-class technology and the newest, most advanced diagnostic and treatment options available. Your healthcare team of highly trained physicians, nurses, technicians and administrators is determined and committed to improving the health and quality of life of those we serve.

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