Health

The woman who cut her leg in the fall had to undergo AMPUTATION after larval infestation

A woman took the drastic decision to amputate her legs after waking up one morning to find sores on her limb crawling with worms.

Victoria Abbott-Fleming, now forty, had fallen off a flight of stairs at work and thought she had suffered a simple cut and a slight bruise.

But the wound would change her life forever, leaving her in constant agony and eventually leading to losing both legs.

He also thought about taking his own life when his right leg got so infected that one day she woke up swarming with live worms, Wales Online reports.

"I went into the living room and I saw that something in my leg was moving and I thought my eyes were deceiving me," Victoria said, recalling the moment when she discovered the worms.

"When I saw what I apparently uttered a heartbreaking scream and I fainted, my husband thought I was murdered.

Victoria thought the pain in her legs was the result of a small fall

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"The only way he could get rid of them was to put the disinfectant in the water and throw it against me.

"But my leg was so painful that I seemed to have an acid bath."

Victoria, who studied at Aberystwyth University and recently passed her bar exam, was only 24 when she took some concrete steps in her work in November 2003.

Victoria said the pain in her legs made her feel bad after falling off a flight of stairs

"When I got up, the pain hit me immediately, it made me sick," he added.

"I did not know if I had broken something at that moment, but my car was about 100 meters away, so I managed to reach it.

"I called my husband and I broke down in tears, we lived about four miles away and just wanted to go home so I drove – even if I do not remember doing it."

The sores on Victoria's right leg were atrocious

When he got home, Victoria said that her right leg from the knee down was "tripled".

Instead of going to A & E, she opted to visit a walk-in center where she was given anti-swelling medication and her wound was dressed.

"I often played hockey, so I was used to injuries but I never had anything like that," added the 40-year-old.

"The pain seemed like the hot oil was poured on me 24 hours a day or like a hammer that was being thrown to my bones, it never went away.

"We went to the hospital after the hospital, doctor after doctor, consultant after consultant – I think we saw a total of 39 – and none of them could offer any explanation as to why I was suffering.

"A lot of them told me it was psychological, the depression hit me very badly and I was put on the tablet, but that only made things worse, I would like to burst into tears in the smallest of cases, like an advertisement on TV.

The sores on Victoria's right leg began to "smell like rotten flesh"

"Because there were no answers I began to doubt myself and I think maybe I was dreaming of this and that the pain was all in my head."

Six months after the fall, Victoria was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), a condition normally triggered by an injury but which ends up being much more severe and long lasting than would normally be expected.

Despite being classified as a rare condition, it is thought to affect around 15,000 people in the UK each year.

"I was relieved that I was finally labeled with a condition, and finally I felt confirmed and I could prove that I was not inventing anything," he added.

Before her injury, Victoria was athletic and extrovert

"I was left without support at the time Google was not like now, so I could find very little."

Because of her constant pain, Victoria ended up losing her job and became a virtual recluse, leaving her home alone to go to the hospital.

"If I went shopping, I should be very careful not to hit anyone or touch my legs," he said.

"But I was in a wheelchair in 2005 and could not even wear shoes." Having a shower looked like acid rain.

"My husband had fallen in love with an extrovert athletic and sportsman, but I had become a hermit with black clouds constantly over me, I did not feel just like me."

The fabric and the Victoria's bone on his right leg began to disperse

While his right leg continued to deteriorate, it caused atrophy in which the skin, tissues and bones of the affected limb simply faded.

The open ulcers, the swelling and the "elephant skin" soon began to appear with a terrible odor.

"People could hear me before they could see me, it was like rotting flesh," he said.

"I took off many situations before the other person could say" Can you smell it? "I wanted to kill myself."

Victoria and Michael decided to tie the knot before amputating her legs

But things hit bottom in August 2006 when Victoria, at age 26, woke up and found her leg crawling with worms.

"Automatically assume that worms mean dirt, so I felt incredibly dirty," he said.

"Even before the worms appeared, I knew I could not get on with this leg so I made the decision to have it amputated."

In April 2006, Victoria and her partner Michael made the decision to marry while she still had two legs, with the amputation just above the right knee that took place the following September.

Victoria's left leg before it was amputated

He had another four inches removed before the condition spread to his left leg, which was amputated just before his 36th birthday in December 2014.

"When I got to my left leg I saw a world specialist in CRPS who said there was nothing he could do," he added.

"The amputation occurred two days before my birthday and I spent the day in intensive care, it's not the best way to spend it, is it?"

Victoria, who continues to feel swelling and pain in the leg strains, now takes 57 tablets a day.

She won a £ 2.1 million payment from the workplace where she had the fall, although she says that most of this went to medical expenses and moving.

Victoria and Michael in Las Vegas for her 40th birthday in December 2018

But rather than move away from his terrible ordeal, the resident in Derbyshire, Victoria has created a charitable organization called Burning Nights that raises awareness of the CRPS and supports the sick around the world.

He is also starting a campaign in Parliament with Congressman Ruth George to get more research on the devastating nervous conditions.

"Patients with CRPS often have mental and financial health problems, as well as marriages and family breakdowns – these are things that tend to be forgotten – GPs do not know enough yet."

For more information on the conditions and support available, go to burningnightscrps.org.

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