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Ok ..where's the spell checker? :ph34r: ...COMFORT not confort :o

Cat

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I just wanted to say that it is inspirational to see so many people come through such traumatic episodes with such positive will. I am new to this site and every time I log on I get a new appreciation for life.

I would like to say thank you, to you all. I am currently going through some problems with the NHS ( UK Healthcare System ) and I was feeling rather low until reading all these posts!

My respect goes out to you all!!

Christopher

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As I say, I’m from Sarajevo. This town has real Golgotha after Bosnia and Herzegovina get independence 1992- I belive that you have some information from tv- I don’t like to talk about war but I you have some question I will talk. I was fifteen 1994 – and this 20 of January I was on wrong place in wrong time. I was on the street when fire started. I run, but shrapnel was faster than me. Final result – right bka. I’m not only victim – there are many similar story. I was in hospital about month and I have opportunity to see horrible things. After that, I was at home- I got my first leg in summer ’95 and I’m on prosthetics most time. I use crutches only before bed and for “night trips”. I have 10 year experience and I like to share it with others :rolleyes:

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Thanks for posting your story Aldo. It was very humbling.

I have an enormous amount of respect for anybody that lives/has lived in a war torn country.

(One of the reasons is because I grew up watching a lot of war films (my dad loved to watch any war film), but particularly the films about the genocide of Jews in Nazi Germany. So I ended up growing up with a slight fear of soldiers, army vehicles and war! I eventually outgrew it, but still hate all violence.)

Anyway, what I am trying to say is that I would be absolutely petrified if I was in that situation myself. Whenever I watch the news, and see the way some countries in the world have been ravaged by war, I am always so grateful that I am here, safe and sound in this country (which at the moment is the UK), with all my family around me.

I really hope that a lost leg is the most you suffered Aldo. And thanks for joining us. I am sure that we will learn a great deal from you and, likewise, you from us. :)

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My story

I was a paratrooper in the army and I was deployed in northern Iraq. I was sleeping in one of Chemical Alis palaces. At about 3am I woke up and had a bad feeling didnt know what it was when all of a sudden BOOM an RPG came in through the window bounced off a wall and blew up at my feet. I crawled for my weapon when one of my sergeants saw that i was hurt and called a medic. I didnt really know how bad they were until i got back to the states about 10 days later. They originally told me I would only lose my left leg but when I finally saw my right foot I knew it was gone to.

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Hi people,

Wow some of these stories are great and I find it amazing how so many seem to just get on with life no matter its chucks in our direction.

Well here's my story..........

I was born 3 months premature (I'm now 36), my Mother took Debendox as an anti-sickness pill whilst she was carrying me. To this day we still cannot prove that the drugs had any affect on my birth defects........anyways that's a different story.

I was born with deformities on my left foot, right hand, but most of the problems were with my right foot. It was basically completed twisted round the wrong way. Well operation after operation over the years never really helped. Bones removed, shaved away, ankle joint fixed etc etc also wearling calipers whilst very young. I was the kid at school with the 'bad foot', never did sports etc etc. Anyway the last operation I had I was in my early 20's. Well I came round from the op in so much pain it was a nightmare, I joked with the consultant that I wish he'd just cut the f*****g thing off. To my surprise he did say that was an option!!!!!!! He said they had a few more operations that they wanted to 'try' and see how thing went, but he said to be honest the foot and ankle are so mashed up inside the leg that the leg would more than likely have to be amputated anyway in a few years.

Well he told me to go away and think about it for six months. I had already decided at this point what i wanted but didnt want to rush straight in. So after chats with friends and family I wnet back after the six months to say Yes to an amputation. He said that there would be at least and 18 month waiting list for the operation, but that would give me plenty of time to get used to the idea.

So off home I went, but 4 weeks later on a Wednesday I got a phone call form the hospital asking what I was doing the next day, as they had a cancellation and could fit me in. So got the phone call on the Wed, in hosp on the Thurs and amputation on the Friday.

Well that was nearly 13 years ago now and as far as I'm concerned that was the best decison I ever made. Yeah I stil have bad days and good day, but things are far better now than before the amp.

I consider my self to be very lucky as ultimatley it was MY choice to have the leg removed. Even as I was heading of the theatre they still asked my if I was sure I wanted to go through with the op as it wasnt too late to change my mind.

Through all of this my parents especially my Mum (HUGS TO MUM) my sister family and friends and even more so my partner Tony have been a great support to me. Tony nad I have been together for 14 years so he has known me both before and after my amp and he has put up with so much from me. Travelling to the hosp as much as he can when I was first in, helping me when we moved house just after coming out from the hosp, my mood swings, my good days, my bad days, he has been my rock and to him I say THANK YOU.

I am now living in Cardiff, Sth Wales after moving from London three years ago and I love life at the moment.

Well thats me............... Thanks guys great to meet you all

Mark :D :P :D

xx

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Thought I would "jump" in on this one. There was a time that I thought that what happened to me was rather unique but I have learned different from many others.

I was travelling to my cottage in jan 2003. After turning the intersection, something shifted in the back of my van. We pulled over some 1/2 mile from the intersection. I must have gotten out and was standing at the back of the van when moron came driving along the shoulder and crushed me between his truck and the back of the van.

I came around some two weeks later in my new state - bilateral aka. I have no memories of this transition. One day I was whole - the next I was cut in half.

Spent several months in hospital / doing very well on two artificail legs / haven't used a wheelchair for some three months now / can travel some 4000' without a break / use two canes, one cane, and no canes. My biggest problem right now is stopping in the no cane state.

Of yeah - the moron was charges with careless driving, went to court, was found guilty and fined $200.00 CDN - piss me off the most is that he would not look at me!!!!

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Hi Eddie,

Thanks for posting your story of how you came about losing your legs.

(I have still to post mine in detail, but will do one day)

I can't believe that moron (such a kind word for him really) was only fined $200 CDN. That's unbelievable! Is that the price of a pair of legs nowadays? Shocking. I wonder if he feels any guilt, or can happily live with himself now?

Anyway, you come across as such a strong person and I have no doubts that you try to live your life as you did before, which is very admirable.

I'm sure you will bring a lot to this forum.

Have you heard of Paul Esposito? He was a victim of the Staten Island Ferry Accident and lost both his legs AK too. He has not let this beat him too and has a very inspiring story. His website, if you want to check it out, is:

http://www.paulesposito.org/

Thanks again.

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here goes with my story,

went for my usual ride on my bike before work, meet up with my girlfriend for a coffee as she had an early lunch. on my way to work went down i road i have used for 20 od years. just doing the speed limit 60 mph, when a car just turned right in front of me. hit him at full speed. spent the next 6 days in intensive care. when i woke, everybody looked suprised. my consultant told me a year later that the didnt expect me to make 24hrs. my injuries were smashed left femur, smashed patella, both arms had snapped like twigs and my right foot had been discolated so it was poiniting behind my and my ankle was in pieces. spent 6 months in hospital, they told me my right ankle had developed avascular necrosis. they said they were going to wait and see if the bone would spring back into life,but i knew deep down, that it was a major problem. after talking with the many consultants, the decision was made to amputate. i had the operation on oct 20 04.

the driver who did this was an unisured and unlicensed. who fled the scene leaving thinking that he had killed me. he got 2 1/2 years in prison.

ethan

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i dont see it now as a life sentence. my life has changed, but personally i feel for the better.

ive calmed down and been made to realise that life is precious, and not to take it for granted.

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Good attitude :)

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I WOULD HAVE TO AGREE WITH THIS ETHAN FELLOW. I do not consider this a sentence. I don't like it but = they're not going to grow back. I have met so many people who I consider very special. In a twisted way - its like being a member of a very exclusive club. After all - not everybody can be half metal.

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Eddie and Ethan I could not even begin to imagine what you have been through. I say "hats off" to both of you. I had my amputation years and years ago when I was very small. I don't remember much...aside from my dad (who is AWESOME) letting me eat ice cream with every meal for weeks! Guess he was trying to make me feel better! Anyway, I have a deep respect for you both, you have endured well....you both seem like heros to me. Take care and thanks for the imspiration in your attitudes!

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I don't feel my amputation to be a life sentence either, but a new beginning. :)

I had my accident 32 years ago, I was a pillion passenger, my right leg was pretty mangled, I spent a week in intensive care, where is was touch and go whether I lost my leg or not, but the doctors managed to save it, I have asked myself over and over if this was a good thing or not!!!! Over the years I have endured many operations, including bone grafts, skin grafts and after a fall a refracture (I don't hop around anymore, I learnt my lesson a long time ago!!). So last year when I saw a different orthopaedic surgeon, and he suggested having a below knee amputation, it didn't take me long to agree to it. It was just the waiting for the date to go in to hospital that did my head in, as most of you know!! :ph34r:

So now I am sitting here, in my wheelchair, six weeks post op, waiting to go for my casting, thinking that soon, besides being pain free, I will have two legs the same length, no arthritic ankle, a straight leg (my leg had bowed slightly, due to the bone grafts) and I'll be able to walk without limping and maybe even be able to run!!!! :unsure:

So new life here I come, life sentence, not a chance.

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Here's mine again!

My Own Story

I had been joking with other patients on the orthopaedic ward that the doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me and despite flu-like symptoms for the ten days previously, I wasn’t unduly concerned about my health. The aches in my leg as well as a couple of scabs on my knee that were taking longer than usual to heal were causing slight concern, but I had no reason to expect the sudden flurry of activity around my bed.

A group of doctors, consultants and other medical staff all turned up to see me and seconds later the curtains remained closed, and the top surgeon Mr Ashley Brown & his Team at Southend General Hospital broke the news to me in no uncertain terms.

He told me he had to operate immediately and even then he could not be certain he could save my life. He said he had no choice but to continue cutting until he was certain he had removed all the infected tissue. I was suffering from Necrotising Fasciitsis,a Tissue -eating bacteria which cuts off the blood supply and attacks organs, muscle and body tissue at a rate of 2cm an hour! Antibiotics can’t treat it, and if not dealt with swiftly it can kill and often does. When the bacteria is removed from the body, it leaves toxins into the bloodstream causing the body to go into toxic shock, and sufferers often die from this rather than the NF.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing and there was barely time for the news to sink in. I had just two hours to prepare myself for an operation that at best I would survive, with a leg missing, but at worst I would not survive at all.

There was just enough time to see my German girlfriend Silke and my two daughters, Amy 12 and Louise 15. ( I am divorced)

It was an emotional time for everyone, but at least I didn’t have long to dwell on what was about to happen. It was hard to believe that just a couple of weeks earlier life had been perfectly normal, and now I was being told I could die.

I worked as a roofer, and only twelve days previously had been working on a flat roof, where there had been some stagnant water in a blocked outlet. It was nothing unusual and I am quite used to have clear leaves and other debris from such ducts.

This time, the foul-smelling water obviously harboured this deadly germ and a couple of scabs on my knee provided the point of entry for the infection.

Sore knees are just one of the hazards of working as a roofer, and as one of my hobbies is scuba-diving, they sometimes don’t get a chance to heal very quickly.

Just a day after working on the roof I began to feel unwell, with flu-like symptoms, and aches and pains in my leg, which I put down to a pulled muscle while I had been working. This continued for almost a week, before a friend took one look at me and said I really ought to go into hospital.

Even then staff didn’t know what the problem was, apart from the Dermatologist a Mrs Henderson who’s quick thinking in sending away cultures for analysis confirmed the diagnosis of NF.

Following the operation, I was put in a sedated coma for ten days, as the toxic shock took over my body, and I was left to fight for my life. It’s a little like having sunburn on the inside as the body heats itself to such a high temperature to fight the bacteria, and all this overheating causes the body to burn up many calories. It as very fortunate I weighed a hefty sixteen stone because those who don’t have any excess weight, literally waste away. Afterwards I weighed just 11 1/2 stone, and soon after I came out of the coma, I remember my mother trying to force me to eat chocolate as nursing staff had told her how important it was that I should eat.

My leg had been cut eight inches above the knee, and because it wasn’t a planned amputation, and surrounding muscles were infected, it wasn’t finished in quite the same way. Fortunately an eminent plastic surgeon happened to be at the hospital that day. Mr Lotion Kengesu He, along with many other doctors were present during the operation, as it is something very rare. His expertise ensured I was left with a stump that could accept a prosthesis ( walking aid) without the need for further surgery.

During the ten days I was in the coma, Silke, an osteopath, talked me through what had happened, and I did take in things she had been saying.

The first time I was fully conscious I didn’t want to look at what was left of my leg, but it is vital to do so as part of the recovery process. You have to accept what has happened, andI was given counselling by some wonderful nurses, (by this time I had been moved to a specialist Plastic sugery unit St Andrews in Chelmsford ) who helped to look at my leg, touch the wound and see what had been done. It is hard to describe my feelings afterwards, as it is something none of can ever imagine happening.

The first time I tried to sit up was awful. I had been lying down for two weeks, and as I raised my head the room began to spin, I felt nauseous and it was very emotional.

It took a while to come to terms with what had happened. I spent a couple of months in rehabilitation , before finally coming home, and learning to adapt to a totally new way of life. I now wear a prosthesis and prefer not to wear a cover on it to make it look like a real leg. The phantom pains that amputees can suffer from are very painful, as the nerve endings look for a path, and if you start kidding yourself the false leg is a real one, the pains can be far worse.

My family has coped well with what has happened to me and my girlfriend has been very supportive.

Obviously I had to give up my job as a roofer, and am now still keeping busy. Studying for a diploma in I.T. Scuba diving & playing chess! I plan to go to University in January for a short course to train as an Access Auditor, helping to ensure public buildings come into line with various disability requirements.

I also Work as a voluntary visitor for amputees and the disabled. Disablement has opened my eyes and made me reflect on how fragile our lives can be.

Until this happened I was just like every other able bodied person, not really caring much about the disabled. But I now know just how much discrimination there is amongst the British whose ,traditional stereotypical stiff upper lip, and dislike of anything not quite normal prevents them from really looking at what’s going on and seeing how they can help.

I am very different to the man I was a year ago and despite the trauma I have been through, I have emerged a much better person.

As long as I get up one more time than I fall down! (sic Chris Moon)

1 leg still standing! :D

Ps Since writing this piece 4 years ago, I now work as a Access Officer at Chelmsford Borough Council, I work as a model part time also. I have married my beloved Silke and I have continued working within the disabled movement:

I play amputee football for Southend United, Scuba dive, play chess for Essex.

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To Paul@plan:

I just thought I would mention that I have met a fellow who suffered the same attack. For him, they took one leg off quite high above knee and the other at his hip. He is attempting to use prots but I don't think he will be able to - you never know though.

Nasty thing that happened to you.

Just goes to show, once again, how many people are fine today and "disabled" tomorrow.

Take care and keep going.

ED

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I'm probably really late replyign to this topic as it was opened a while ago.

But I lost both my Lower legs due to septicemai, I had extensive graft surgery, trying to rebuild the ankle, and had around 15 operations on my ankles alone to see what they could do... After 5 months they decided that there was nothing more they could do so they gave me the choice to have mt lower legs amputated.

I'm positive i made the right decision and so far I ahev had no blips and every thing is going good.

:):)

Andy

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Hey Andy,

You're not late replying to this topic, as there are new posts here that come with new members, of which we are always getting!

We lost our legs in very similar ways (septicaemia), but I was told that one definitely had to be amputated and was offered the option of having the other one debrided, but I refused, for a few reasons. There was no guarantee anyway, and I KNOW that I made the right decision. Besides, I was so desperate to leave the hospital I would have done anything! It's the best decision I made and have no regrets.

It's interesting to know how your constructive surgery went though. That does sound very painful. I know I was in agony before my amputations, so I can imagine how it must have been for you.

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Hi Andy and Welcome,

I'm a RBK for just over a year. I had mine amputated after a wall fell on me and caused a total crush injury to my right foot / ankle. Had a few attempts to rebuild, but it was no good, so I asked them to take it off and give me back my life, and the ability to walk again. I have 2 lovely boys aged 7 and 9 years.

I live in Cardiff, Wales, UK and life is good. :D

Sue. :rolleyes:

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Guest onelegwendi

I have a long story but I will try to keep it short and simple. a Boat ran over me in Bimini almost cut my leg completely off just hanging on by a little meat and skin about 4 inches by 2 inches . was out of the US so it took 3 hrs to get a helicopter to come get me. there was no hospital on the island and the doc was on vacation. went to Miami beach FL . waited another hour for docs. foot was without blood for 5 hours ( I was contious the WHOLE time with NO pain meds) and the docs said they would try to save it but I was realistic in saying to them"I don't care what you do put me to sleep and cut the damn thing off I am tired of hurting." (My foot was black and drained of blood by this time).

so they did have to amputate. But I was just so happy to be alive that I knew the loss of my leg was the least of my worries. 3 hrs with very little medical help and not bleeding to death was a miricle in itself. I never expected them to save my foot. Neat thing though.. for about an hour after the accident I could wiggle my toes even though my leg was very little attached. SO this happened on Friday I came home to Birmingham Alabama on Monday and was out of the hospital in a week. My stump had a place on it that would not heal so I didn't get my prosthesis right away. But that presented a problem. I was getting Married in 3 months and I WAS gonna WALK down that isle. so a few switched doctors later and a week before my wedding I got my prosthesis and I learned to walk that night. used crutches for that week and then on the day I DID WALK down that isle. then I went to PT I ...like CAT feel like this is truly a blessing. I appreciate EVERYTHING. I don't sweat the small stuff and I have an AMAZING husband and now 2 children that make life all that more wonderful. I know my old 2 legged self would not have appreciated everything as much. I may have traded in a leg (below knee) for all my dreams to come true but it was worth it in the end. NOW I have my bad days and I sit and cry and I get mad but most of the time I keep a posotive attitude because I KNOW I am blessed to be alive much less have all the other things I have. as usual I have talked too much shot and simple just don't seem to be a part of me. thanks for all you guys. I would not have made it through the tough times without people like you

wendi BKA 98

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After reading all your stories, I'v decided that we are very strong, determined and probably stuborn ;) :lol: Silly Billy, I had a brother named Billy and "line was MY NAME IS BILLY, NOT SILLY :lol: Here is my story: I was born with 8 toes on one foot, club foot, no tibia and a dislocated knee. When I was born (1953) they told my Mum that she finally had her little girl (5 brothers) but she is deformed. And they would not let my Mum see me for 10 days. Sad for my Mum, thank god she is a strong woman. The Dr's said I would never walk and my Mum said she will walk. Anyway we had just emigrated to Canada from Scotland. They think what happened was my Mum babysat a little boy with German Measles, before she knew she was pregnant. So Mum and Dad went back to Scotland, because my Mum said the best Doctor's were in Scotland :lol: My leg was amputated when I was 18 months old. My first leg was a peg leg" :lol: We eventually moved to Liverpool because of Dad's work. It was rough growing up. When I was about 14 yrs old my Dad got me the book "Reach for the sky", by Douglas Bader and that helped me a lot. My only regret is how I was treated by people, teachers etc., I'm facing another surgery within the next few months I have developed bone spurs with nerves growing around them. But I'll deal with it when the surgery is booked. I feel very privileged to be on this site with all you people. I think this is the first time that I have felt "normal". Just speaking with all you brave people.

Luv, Lynne

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Hey Lynne,

We ARE normal!!!!......it's the rest of the world that's screwy not us :D

Cat

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In February 1994 I suffered a spiral type multiple compound fracture of my left tibia and fibula whilst playing football (soccer). The break occurred during a freak collision with one of my own players. My leg broke instantly in the collision but was worsened by the fact that I landed on it putting my full weight through the limb.

I waited approximately 45 minutes for an ambulance and a further 4 hours in casualty at my then local hospital (Southend) without antibiotic coverage. At 0200 the following morning I had surgery to repair the damage which consisted of a metal pin being placed through the whole length of the tibia secured with a bolt at the ankle.

Due to blood loss I spent about a week in hospital and then released with the expectation of physiotherapy to enhance a full recovery. At this stage I thought that I would be back on my feet within about 12 weeks.

After approximately 6 weeks I began feeling extremely unwell and noticed a slight weeping from the wound. I reattended hospital and was informed that the wound was infected and placed onto antibiotics and allowed home. Within a couple of weeks the infection had really caught hold of me and I began losing weight. I was readmitted to hospital and the pin was removed and replaced with an external fixator.

Unfortunately from that time on I was unable to beat the infection which basically wrecked my calf muscles, the muscles linking the knee to the ankle and the bone itself. Each end of the bone had died without blood supply and lost the inability to fuse together.

My consultant referred me to a number of specialists UK wide. The general concensus was the best that I could expect would be an operation to fuse the ankle at 90 degress and attempt bone grafts from other areas of my body in the hope the damaged area could be repaired. This would involve another 2 years of intermittent hospital visits and no guarantee of success. I would also walk with a prominent limp and with no feeling in the sole of my foot be susceptible to ulceration. If this method failed then amputation would be my only choice.

After I had visited a number of rehab centres I decided that my injury had dominated my life for too long (my career was suffering, I had separated from my wife and I was basically not enjoying life) although I cannot lay all the blame for all of this.

Although the doctors could not guarantee that the infection was not in my knee they felt there was a good chance I would keep it and this for me was a big factor. I therefore opted for a below knee amputation which was completed at Queen Marys Hospital, Roehampton in August 1996.

The nurses, doctors, physios and prosthetists at Queen Marys were excellent and I was out of hospital walking on my new limb in just 5 weeks. I certainly felt and still feel that I made absolutely the correct decision. I still go to the Queen Mary's and all the staff there are fantastic.

I cannot believe that 8 years have passed already since the amputation and so much has happened in that time.

I am in a long term relationship with a nurse (not connected to any of the medical institutions I have previously been to before your minds start jumping :rolleyes: ), I have my own business now and two young daughters with another on the way at the end of March 2005. At the moment life couldn't be better.

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