Wendy Boyle

My story starts five years ago. I worked in a hospital laundry and still do. I had a sore throat which hurt when I swallowed and flu like symptoms. Never thought much of this. I then cut myself on my foot. By the next day I couldn't get my shoe on and it was quite painful. I went to the casualty department where they x-ray 'd my foot. I was given paracetamal for the pain and was told nothing was broken and sent home. During the night the pain was so severe I could hardly walk. I had a purplish blister which seemed to be growing up my foot and the pain was up my leg which was swelling up. My partner took me back to hospital he had to put me in a wheelchair. Once again I was told nothing was wrong. I begged them to give me something for the pain. I was given paracetamal and a pair of crutches and sent home and told to come back in 72 hours. I was burning up and fainted while trying to phone my own doctor. I was told just to go back to hospital if it got worse. The next day my leg had swelled up so bad I took every painkiller I could. I just wanted the pain to stop. By this time I couldn't bear anyone to touch my leg and couldn't get trousers on. My partner carried me to the toilet. All day and night I suffered until the next morning. My partner went and got my mum as I was refusing to go back to hospital - what was the point? My mum took one look and told me I had to go. I went that morning. On arriving I was taken straight in. They could not figure out what was wrong. Then after tests, I was told I had flesh eating bacteria and was given one hour to decide whether I wanted my leg amputated or I was given the option of having my leg cut open at both sides. By this time the bacteria had eaten my foot. The surgeon told me I was only given the 2nd option because I was young and had two young kids. I was 33. He said it might not work. I chose the 2nd option. I was in hospital for three weeks. I was told the bacteria stopped at my groin. My leg is badly scared and I was given skin grafts but thankfully it worked and I still have my leg. I was back at my work in six months.