Holly Tylicki’s Story

Holly Tylicki and her fiancé, Jeremy T. Whitener, were involved in a terrible car crash in October 2007. Jeremy died at the scene and Holly, now 22, was airlifted to University of Cincinnati Medical Center with extensive injuries, mostly trauma wounds to her pelvis, torso and limbs.

After several surgeries at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, Holly was transferred to Drake Center. She had large, open wounds on her legs, and doctors thought she would need more skin grafts. They also said she might lose one of her legs and never walk again.

“The Advanced Wound Care team took really good care of me,” Holly says.  They did negative pressure wound therapy and used special dressings and equipment to promote healing and prevent infection. I also underwent a lot of physical and occupational therapy to help me rebuild muscle and endurance and regain some flexibility.”

Healing physically has been a very long and difficult process for Holly, but the emotional side of it has been tough, too. “Jeremy’s death was so hard to accept because he was a wonderful person and we had planned a future together,” she says. “My nurse, Anne, was always there to listen when I wanted to talk about Jeremy and what I was going through. She even cried with me sometimes, and I knew she cared a lot about me personally. All the nurses did, and the doctors, too. Their kindness is what mattered through the days when I felt so defeated.”

Holly’s mother, Brenda Shortridge, stayed in Holly’s hospital room throughout her four-month stay at Drake Center. Holly says that in addition to all the Drake Center staff’s excellent care and perseverance, her mother’s love and dedication helped her pull through. “My wounds have finally closed – and I never needed another skin graft surgery after all,” she adds. “I have accepted my scars, for I know that they are the work of the expertise of Drake Center.”

Today, Holly and her mom live in Virginia. Holly still uses a cane when she walks, and  still goes to physical therapy. “But I’m starting to think more about the future,” she says. “I’m planning to start college soon and maybe earn a degree in science. If it wasn’t for the people at Drake, I honestly don’t know where I would be today.


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