By Bobbie Hart O’NeillCSMS Staff writer“YUCK!!!” Maggots are blue fly larvae but they are effective wound cleaners and definitely have a place in today’s hospitals and clinics. After the CBS Evening News the local news comes on which I usually avoid and turn off, but, one story, Friday night, caught my eye. ‘Maggot Therapy’ – A first for Yuma Regional Medical Center.“Oh, my God!”I was stunned when I saw the person being featured in the story is one of my best friends, Dorothy Leonard. Dorothy has had an ulcerated leg ever since I have known her for the past 26 years.“NO”, she is not diabetic but “YES” she is obese and has been in and out of the hospital several times for treatment. I have lost count of the number of times I have literally screamed at her. ”Get off that ___ ___ leg before you lose it”.To my amazement, there sat Dorothy, smiling, looking very healthy in living color in front of the camera while the story of her being given the “Maggot Therapy” treatment was aired.I, later, called her at home and congratulated her for having the intestinal fortitude to be the first to undergo this radical procedure in our conservative community. She thanked me and told me the treatment was a breeze and it worked.“I wore the “maggot-filled bandage” for two days and didn’t feel a thing. I went to work, went to church, even went out to dinner with a friend and forgot I was wearing it.”This is especially important information for Native Americans who have the highest diabetic and obesity rate in the nation.There are several Internet sites that feature webs on “Maggot Therapy”. Those two words alone on Google will bring out scads of information on the procedure. Also Google “Maggot Amputation” Here is the basis of the treatment – “Maggots have been cleaning wounds for thousands of years because they very effectively eat only DEAD flesh, not living flesh.” It is well documented, on the Net, that maggots saved the lives of thousands of soldiers during the Civil War, WWI and WWII.Maggot Referral Page: http://www.ucohs,uci.edu/com/pathology/sherman/mdtists2I’m certain this information is heartbreaking for viewers who have lost their limbs because of diabetes and obesity, but hopefully it can possibly prevent future, needless amputations. It is time to bring this kind of medical information out of the Dark Ages and place it in the hands of U.S. doctors in the 21st century.Let’s face it, folks, the thought of “maggot therapy” may be repulsive to many, but is a proven effective treatment and a heck of a lot cheaper and safer than an amputation.One thing that saddens me the most about learning this information so late is that my diabetic sister-in-law in Anchorage, Alaska underwent a leg amputation last summer and is still suffering complications from that surgery.Perhaps “Maggot Therapy” could have saved her leg – now, possibly her life.