*GRAPHIC CONTENT* A teenager has chosen to have her leg amputated after an ingrowing toenail triggered agonising condition
A teenager who suffered three years of hell thanks to an ingrowing toenail has paid for her own leg to be amputated.
Hannah Moore, 19, from Stalbridge, Dorset, had an ingrowing toenail surgically removed in 2012 after months of discomfort.
But days later she was left in unbearable pain, the slightest touch to Hannah’s right leg left her in tears despite no sign of infection.
Tragically doctors diagnosed her with a rare agonising condition – Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) – which can be triggered by minor surgery, leaving her in agony 24-hours-a-day.
Ulcers are a symptom of the condition and last year Hannah’s foot turned black and scaly and a huge hole appeared in the middle.
After years of failed treatments she made the brave decision to go private and forked out £5,000 to have the limb amputated on July 18 – despite doctor’s advice not to.
The avid sports fan says it was the best decision she’s ever made after finally getting her life back on track and is now hoping to compete in the 2020 Paralympics.
Hannah, a trainee chef said: “I couldn’t be happier now that I’ve had my leg amputated, I wasn’t scared I was excited.
“The past three years have been an absolute nightmare, it’s amazing how much my life changed just because of an ingrowing toenail.
“I’d never heard of CRPS, so when my foot started to swell and hurt I put it down to an infection.
“Over the years the pain got so bad that I was taking 40 different type of medication and even a blanket on my leg could leave me in tears.
“Then one day I looked down at my foot and saw a black circle, within weeks it had turned into a severe ulcer which was excruciating.
“Ulcers are a symptom of CRPS, something as simple as a small scratch can cause them and they just get bigger and bigger as the skin can’t heal properly due to the lack of blood supply to my leg.
“I then had to have the dressings changed 53 times in 68 weeks under general anaesthetic, that’s when I decided enough was enough.
“Doctors and specialists warned that having my leg amputated could result in the pain returning in the residual limb but that was a risk I was prepared to take.
“Because of this the NHS refused to fund the operation so I paid £5,000 myself with the help from my family.
“Thankfully I’ve been pain free ever since and now I’m finally making up for lost time and getting my life back on track.”
Hannah was perfectly healthy before going to the doctors with two ingrowing toenails on both feet in 2012.
Hannah’s left big toe healed well but after the second surgical procedure on her right toe she began to feel more and more pain.
Hannah said: “To begin with my foot started to swell and bruise but every day the pain got worse.
“It stopped me from doing so many things, having my leg amputated was the best decision of my life.
“The research and understanding of CRPS is very limited, more needs to be done to help others.
“I know I was advised against amputation but I couldn’t live with the pain any longer and I’d been through so much with no improvement.
“It was a huge decision, but I knew without my leg which had no function I could lead a better life.”
The budding chef, who has a just landed a new scholarship, was extremely passionate about sports and was a karate champion before being struck down with CRPS.
Her dreams and ambitions were put on hold until now.
Hannah said: “I was carefree, healthy 16-year-old before all this.
“I was always really sporty and loved cooking but my whole life was put on hold after the diagnosis.
“I spent so much time in a wheelchair but now since having my leg amputated I’ve met with prosthetic experts at Steeper and I now have a new limb, Trulife Seattle Kinetic Edge foot.
“It’s amazing to have so much freedom and I’ve now started competing in wheelchair racing and hand cycling.
“I hope to represent Great Britain in the triathlon event at the 2020 Paralympics.
“I wasn’t living before, but now the sky’s the limit and I can’t wait to make my dreams become a reality.”
A spokesperson from Steeper said: “As a new amputee, Hannah is now under the care of Steeper Prosthetist, Caroline Clark at the Dorset Prosthetic Centre.
“Having been wheelchair bound for significant periods of time with her CRPS, Hannah wanted to ensure that her new leg would be able to assist her in getting back an active lifestyle.
“After much consideration Hannah now wears the Trulife Seattle Kinetic Edge foot which is ideal for Hannah and means she will be able to be as active as possible as quickly as possible.
“Hannah is making exceptional progress and we look forward to continuing her journey with her and helping Hannah with her dream of competing at the 2020 Paralympics.”
Amanda Nelson, Chairperson and Co-founder of CRPS-UK said: “CRPS is a rare neurological disorder which involves the vascular, immune and nervous systems.
“It is a debilitating and disabling inflammatory condition that can be caused by minor injury, broken/fractured bones, surgery or can appear spontaneously without known cause.
“Signals between the affected limb and the brain malfunction and are misinterpreted – the pain continues long after the original injury has healed.
“Pain is typically the leading symptom but the syndrome if often associated with limb dysfunction and psychological distress due to living with severe pain although CRPS is not a psychological illness.
“CRPS can strike anyone at any age and affects both men and women, but statistics show it is more common in women.
“Amputation is not recommended as a cure or treatment for CRPS unless under extreme circumstances like Hannah’s, where there are secondary complications.”
Do you, or someone you know, have a similar story to tell? Get in touch today to earn £££ and raise awareness.