Couple Says Treatment at ACV Is Like Being ‘Part of a Movement’

For Derrick Six and his wife, Toni Romans, of northern Indiana, making appointments to be treated at ACV is more than attending to medical needs.

“We consider ourselves part of a movement,” says Toni.

That’s music to the ears of those who work at ACV, since a movement is nothing less than a sustained campaign in support of a goal to affect a societal value.

“Indeed, it’s our aim to change the culture of care when it comes to saving limbs,” says Dr. Jihad Mustapha, ACV Center’s CEO. “We want to alter the course of humanity. So yes, we are privileged to be involved in a movement – to improve the lives of our patients and educate a growing number of people about their options.”

Derrick, 53, underwent back surgery in 2010 and, seven years later, began “feeling cramping in my legs.” His condition worsened and in 2018 he consulted doctors in Indiana and Chicago before having the fourth toe on his right foot amputated along with a wedge from his lower foot that was deemed infected. Later that same year, he had a pinky toe removed, along with part of his upper foot. By 2019, all but the big toe and third toe remained. Since then, he also has had the big toe on his left foot amputated.

“In the beginning, they just weren’t giving me any options,” he says of vascular practitioners he and his wife consulted. “They just started hacking me up. It was only after joining a Facebook group called ‘The Way To My Heart’ in 2019 that we learned about Dr. Mustapha.”

Once he went to ACV, Derrick says “It was an entirely different ball game. If I hadn’t gone to them, I would probably be missing an entire foot and leg by now.”

Derrick says they largely trusted a major medical institution in Chicago to attend to his medical needs, something they say they now wish they would not have done: “They’re a big player with a big advertising budget and they make you feel as though they have this huge team of doctors all acting on your case.” At one point, they claim, a nurse advised them to have his foot removed, telling them “It’s just a foot.”

Toni remembers having an epiphany back before consulting ACV, while in a waiting room with Derrick, and witnessing a patient with a stump: “I just started crying. It was this holy —- moment where I realized this was the most fearful and sickening disease ever – and something nobody talks about. A wound can lead to amputation and you’re never ready to go head-to-head with that train.”

Today, Derrick makes no complaint about the 3.5-hour drive each way to ACV for treatments. Says Toni, “We’d walk there if we had to.”

According to Toni, “They didn’t just save Derrick’s legs. They saved our lives and are responsible for preserving our future together…our plans as husband and wife.

“How do you put a price on that?”

Image credit: Mikey Kay