For one UK woman, a tiny scratch ended in a double leg amputation, Wales Online reported.
In 2003, Victoria Abbott-Fleming, then 24, slipped on concrete steps at work and incurred a small cut and some bruising. By the time she got home, the young lawyer’s right leg had tripled in size. Although doctors administered anti-swelling drugs, she was in so much pain that she went to a specialist pain clinic the next year.
Abbott-Fleming was diagnosed with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS), which in severe cases can cause atrophy of the skin, tissue and bone. Over time, the condition of her leg worsened, causing open ulcers, swelling and “elephant skin.” She was forced into a wheelchair.
In August 2006, Abbott-Fleming found maggots crawling in her leg. The only way she could get rid of them was by having her husband throw water on them, but her leg was so painful it felt like an acid bath, the news website reported.
“There were thousands of them. I felt physically sick. I felt dirty, like I had rotting flesh. I wanted my leg off there and then,” she told Wales Online.
Her leg “stunk to high heaven,” and Abbott-Fleming told Wales online she could no longer cope with the smell and the pain. In 2006, she had her right leg amputated below the knee and had four more inches removed when the infection recurred.
While doctors said the CRPS infection would not spread from her right stump into her left leg, it did, causing her constant pain and eventually her left leg turned black, leading to a second amputation.
Now, she must take 66 tablets daily to handle the pain. She and her husband won $3 million from her workplace, where she had fallen, but say most has gone to her medical care and converting their home.
Abbott-Fleming has written a book, “Burning Nights,” about her ordeal.