Woman begged surgeon to amputate her leg
A mum-of-two who suffered years of pain after accidentally dropping a perfume bottle on her foot had her leg amputated by surgeons after begging them to remove it.The seemingly trivial injury caused Gill Haddington's right foot to swell to twice its size, develop sore ulcers, turn in to the left and her toes curl underneath.The pain in her foot was so intense she would go to A&E screaming in agony and, after two years, she begged doctors to amputate her leg.Now she is finally pain free after having her right leg removed below the knee.Gill told how she was getting ready one morning in September 2015 when she knocked the empty square-shaped bottle off a chest of drawers in her bedroom by accident.She said: "When I first did it I cried out in pain, I lifted my foot to look at it and it hurt so much I couldn't put it back down again."Initially I thought I must have broken it - I wish I had."The 42-year-old, from Morecambe, Lancs., was sent home from the hospital after X-rays and scans showed no break or injury and expected it to get better.However, over time it got worse and her own GP advised that, as she suffered from pain condition, Fibromyalgia, which makes a patient more susceptible to pain, that must be the cause.But it was when it swelled and developed ulcers, side effects of auto-immune illness coeliac disease, that Gill really started to worry."All the while I was becoming a prisoner in my own home," said Gill.
"I was in constant excruciating pain.
I could not walk at all."Gill had to rely on family, including daughters, Natalie, 20, and Chloe, 18, to feed her and take her out for walks."I don't think I slept at all at that time.
It hurt too much to be laid up in bed," said Gill."Instead I would sleep on the sofa with my foot propped on a box to keep it in position, any movement I made in the night would wake me."Sometimes the pain was so acute Gill's partner, construction salesman Pete Nisbet, 61, would take her to the hospital for help.Gill's foot became increasingly deformed, turning in to the left and her toes curling under.She was finally diagnosed with chronic regional pain syndrome in May 2016 - a condition where a person experiences persistent severe and debilitating pain followed by an injury. Gill said: "I had already started talking about wanting my leg removed, but everyone couldn't believe what I was saying."My leg was already dead to me, it was the cause of so much pain and unhappiness and I just wanted to get on with my life."I wanted to be able to walk again and to go swimming.
I love open-air swimming."Gill was eventually referred to a specialist in February 2017 who she begged to remove her leg.She said: "The specialist didn't want to do it at first, but he saw how much pain I was in and he relented."In a way, I am pleased the pain was so bad.
He could see there was no turning back from what was happening to me.
This was the only way out."Within four months Gill was in surgery.Surgeons at Royal Preston Hospital, Lancs., removed her leg in May 2017 from under her knee, to make ensure that she was left pain free."As soon as I came round my partner said to me, 'I can see I've got my Gill back'.
I felt so happy."After months of being a wheelchair undergoing physio and aftercare, Gill got her first prosthetic leg in September 2017 and was beside herself with joy."As soon as I got it I said to Pete, 'let's go for a walk', and we walked along the promenade.
It was wonderful to be up and about."I hadn't walked for almost three years. "The prosthetic isn't perfect but I love it so much, having my leg removed was the best thing I ever did.
I don't regret it at all."Eventually Gill felt well enough to return to her swimming.She will swam one mile in the John West Great North Swim, at Brockhole-on-Windermere, in the Lake District, on Saturday (8 June) for charity.She said: "I love swimming, I feel free when I swim, nothing hurts.
It's fantastic."To sponsor Gill visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gill-haddington.