When Robert Bellschmied first heard of fish skin as a skin substitute to treat his hard-to-heal diabetic wound, he reacted with disbelief. Now he recommends it to anybody.
This is the story of Dr. Rimi Statkus and his patient Robert Bellschmied from Chicago.
Robert Bellshmied is a retired mechanic in Chicago who used to be a very active person. Unfortunately, all that changed when he got a small wound on his right leg.
“It started as a bone infection and within two days it had turned black” Mr. Bellschmied recalls. Healing this wound with traditional wound treatment products proved to be unsuccessful. “It ruined my life for ten months, I couldn´t drive a car, I couldn´t help my wife, I couldn´t do anything. It was driving me crazy.”
Mr. Bellschmied has a history of diabetes, like over ten percent of the population in Chicago. Diabetes causes poor circulation of blood which results in very slow healing times for wounds, especially in the lower extremities.
Then Dr. Rimi Statkus , a podiatric physician at Northern Illinois Foot & Ankle Specialists in Chicago, called Mr. Bellschmied and proposed that he would come in for a new treatment, Kerecis fish skin, made from North Atlantic Cod.
At first, Mr. Bellschmied reacted with skepticism; “This is kind of a hoax, I thought, but I was game for it because this was looking bad.” The rate of incorporation of the fish skin into his wound was immediately noticeable within just few days.
On the scientific merits of the fish skin Dr. Statkus remarks that “Head-to-head research is showing us that it is quicker in terms of healing.”
Commenting on the treatment Mr. Bellschmied commented that “You are going from an invalid to pretty much back to normal”, while working on re-modelling his house, climbing ladders, and carrying tools around, something that was never thought to be possible before that fateful phone call from Dr. Statkus.
This is their story.