Thursday, April 16, 2009

Honey Bandage Credited with Saving Leg from Amputation

Manuka Honey Pilgrim Meets His Benefactors
The New Zealand Herald, 4/15/2009

As the cruise liner Millennium pulled into port at Tauranga, the sense of anticipation built in passenger Tom Lloyd - not because he was excited to see the sights of the Bay, but because the American was finally going to meet the people who changed his life.

Mr Lloyd made a beeline for Paengaroa - and Comvita - to meet the makers of the manuka honey dressings he credits with saving his leg from amputation.

The successful treatment of a rare infection - one only 27 people are recorded as having - gained attention worldwide after New York doctors used manuka bandages when other traditional treatments failed.

The kidney-transplant recipient got the infection in his right leg just days before Christmas in 2007. With a weakened immune system and the aggressive antibiotic treatment not working, the infection spread to his spinal fluid and the situation looked grim.

Doctors were able to stop the spread of the yeast infection without the need for kidney dialysis - but a sore on his leg refused to heal…

The 68-year-old was told doctors would have to either amputate the leg or cut out the dead skin and replace it with flesh from another part of his body.

That was until a nurse suggested trying MediHoney, a manuka-soaked bandage made of seaweed that had just been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration.

"I thought great, let's try anything," he said.

Within two weeks, the natural remedy had done something traditional medicines had been unable to do over two months…

So, when he and wife Sally booked a two-week cruise around Australia and New Zealand, Mr Lloyd noticed that the stop in Tauranga offered a tour of Comvita.

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