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Meet Willard Peterson

It all started simply enough. Willard Peterson developed an infection in his jaw after having a tooth pulled. “My dentist in Minnesota told me to see an oral surgeon when I go to Yuma, where I spend my winters,” says Willard.

“I went to the surgeon with a toothache and came out with osteoradionecrosis.” This condition causes bone to die as a complication of radiation therapy. Willard said he had throat cancer about 12 years ago and had his jaw radiated as “an insurance policy.”

The oral surgeon recommended 20 sessions in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber at the Yuma Regional Medical Center Wound Care Center and thought a bone may need to be removed from Willard’s hip to put in his jaw, or perhaps a steel plate.

However, the 20 sessions of hyperbaric therapy completely healed Willard’s osteoradionecrosis. “I came as close as I’ve ever come to kissing a doctor,” he laughs. “I can’t speak more highly of the Wound Care Center. The treatment I received was outstanding and the results were fantastic!”

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