McAfee grateful for quick, expert care at Maury Regional Wound Center


COLUMBIA, Tenn. — Ryan McAfee was having a normal workday when suddenly, his life changed in an instant.

As he was sitting at his desk in his home working the morning away, out of nowhere a wave of pressure washed over his left ear, lasting a few seconds. In the aftermath, his hearing was drastically muffled, and he knew there was a problem.

His hearing worsened the rest of the day, and he woke the next morning completely deaf in his left ear. McAfee, 33, works in the financial industry from his home in Spring Hill. There wasn’t an explanation for why he experienced sudden hearing loss, but he had to find a solution quickly — treatment for sudden hearing loss can be less effective if not successful after a few weeks.

After unsuccessful attempts to reverse his condition with steroid medications and injections, McAfee didn’t know where the right answers were going to come from. His mother had remembered reading a story about a musician whose hearing loss was helped using hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), and McAfee was on board to give it a try. His physician referred him to the Maury Regional Wound Center — home to a hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber — where they realized they were working against the clock and needed to start treatment immediately.

McAfee’s first HBOT treatment was two weeks to the day after his sudden hearing loss. He didn’t notice much of a difference at first, but after the third treatment, everything changed.

“I put my AirPods in my ears, and I was faintly able to hear the noise it makes when it connects to a phone,” McAfee said. “I was half deaf for more than two weeks and so deflated at that point, but once I was able to hear that little bit, it was such a relieving feeling. It seemed like it came back so fast from that point.”

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment takes place in a clear pressurized chamber and is used to treat various wounds and other medical conditions. The patient lies in the chamber and breathes 100% oxygen, and the extra oxygen is carried through the blood stream to an injured area, helping the healing process.

A couple of weeks later after 12 HBOT sessions, a hearing test showed McAfee’s hearing in his left ear had returned to 85-90%. He completed the entire 20-session program and now has complete hearing in both ears.

“I feel really lucky that I was able to get this treated so quickly,” McAfee said. “It was a really tough few weeks, but I had a great team taking care of me.”

McAfee is relatively new to the area — he moved to Spring Hill in April from Kansas, where he spent the last 14 years and graduated from the University of Kansas. His family is originally from Ohio.

He’s grateful to have a partner like Maury Regional Health in his new community that’s ready to help in a time of need.

“Everyone at the Wound Center went above and beyond to get this all approved and get me in there as soon as possible,” he said. “They were really supportive and made me feel confident that we were going to fix this.”

The Maury Regional Wound Center in Columbia includes an experienced team of physicians, nurses and staff who specialize in wound care, infectious disease, podiatry and surgery. The multidisciplinary team helps to diagnose, monitor, manage and treat non-healing wounds resulting from diabetes, vascular conditions, radiation therapy, trauma and infection. The center is conveniently located on the campus of Maury Regional Medical Center at 1218 Trotwood Ave.

For a full list of services and more information, visit

Ryan McAfee stands next to the hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber at the Maury Regional Wound Center in Columbia.

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