I had to have my leg amputated after 'paper cut' sparked 17 years of agony | The Sun06/10/2022
A YORKSHIRE woman has had her leg amputated after a "paper cut"-sized wound sparked agony 17 years ago.
Rebecca Humphreys from Wakefield, 33, spent most of her life in torture and became suicidal when noone believed she was suffering from the tiny cut in her foot.
She got the life-changing wound simply from jumping down from her windowsill as a 15-year-old when she'd been decorating her bedroom.
Rebecca screamed as a porcelain ornament she'd landed on drew blood and her foot ballooned to the size of a rugby ball.
The cut was so severely infected doctors told her it would have to be amputated "there and then", but after a second opinion the teenage Rebecca decided against it.
This decision was the start of 17 years of torment.
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Until recently, doctors would refuse to believe there was anything wrong with Rebecca's foot whenever she insisted how much it was still hurting her.
The pain became so unbearable that the former sports-lover couldn't even touch her own foot.
Rebecca was eventually diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome which is an intense, unexplained pain in one limb.
But despite hundreds of doctor's appointments, endless treatments, therapies and painkillers – nothing could help.
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The agony forced Rebecca to to give up her job and at one point she became suicidal.
Finally, after 17 years of disbelief and dismissal, docs agreed to amputate her leg in April.
As soon as Rebecca woke up she said her pain was gone.
She told Yorkshire Live: "I didn’t once look or wonder about the amputation.
"I just felt like the weight of my shoulders had lifted."
She says that the "sadness of my soul" has lifted, with the help from her beloved dogs and her mum.
Rebecca added: "It made me feel like I have hope and feel so grateful for a second chance in life.
"I’m so thankful for all the support even if I’m not fully recovered I’ll never look back in any doubt."
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Now Rebecca is recovering from her amputation which is still painful, but she's dreaming of the day she can walk her dogs with her prosthetic leg.
Her mum Theresa, also from Wakefield, said: "It is more manageable. She was right all along. She was telling people all along since she was 15.
"Everyone kept saying it was a healthy foot. We found a consultant who believed in her.
"For years they could not decide what it was that she had. She has been on painkillers since she was 15.
"She is now aiming to be free of painkillers. She has lost so many years but is remaining positive."
She spoke about the doctors' actions 17 years ago: "They didn't do a blood test or an MRI scan. The foot looked ok on the outside.
"It was a trauma injury. Her auto immune system should have switched off but it never did. They just thought it was in her head."
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)
- CRPS is a poorly understood condition where a person experiences persistent severe and debilitating pain.
- Most cases of CRPS are triggered by an injury, but the pain is more severe and long-lasting than it should be.
- CRPS usually only affects one limb, but it can occasionally spread to other body parts.
- The skin of this limb can become so sensitive that a slight touch, bump or even a change in temperature can cause intense pain.
- Affected areas can also become swollen, stiff or undergo fluctuating changes in colour or temperature.
- CRPS often gradually improves over time. But some people with it experience pain for many years.
- Causes are unknown and it used to be thought that CRPS was a psychosomatic condition – where the symptoms are "all in the mind" – but research has disproved this.
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