A mom was forced to have her leg amputated when it became infected with a flesh-eating bug after she cut it shaving.
Tanya Czernozukow, 43, thought nothing of it when she nicked her right shin with a razor in April 2016 and ignored it when it turned into a scab about the size of a nickel.
But six months later it tripled in size until it was a "huge hole" and doctors spent 18 months trying to stop the aggressive infection from spreading up her thigh.
She tried tablets, creams and even maggots to get rid of the infection, but after months of agony Czernozukow agreed to have it amputated above the knee.
She was eventually diagnosed with a chronic leg ulcer which developed into gangrene.
Fortunately, the operation halted the infection and Czernozukow now says she is pain free and preparing to get on with her life.
"It has been an absolute nightmare. It was just a little nick.
"I just went 'ouch' and thought nothing of it. I've done it a thousandtimes before so I just put a bit of tissue on it and expected it to stop bleeding.
"Within a few weeks it was green and black from my ankle right up to my knees.
"The pain was absolutely sheer hell.
"I had to take more and more painkillers. It was a constant feeling of thousands of needles being stuck into me.
“I used to sit with my leg in a plastic bag - there used to be that much fluid seeping out of it, I felt like I was in a horror movie."
“After a while it looked like gangrene. It looked like I had a flesh-eating bug. It just kept growing and growing and growing.
"It got to the point when I just said to the doctors, ‘take it off. I want it gone’.
“When I first came round I got one hell of a shock. There was only inches of my leg left. It was just complete and utter shock. To see it gone was like waking up in a nightmare."
When the scab spread to the size of a nickel, Czernozukow's mom urged her to see her doctor, but she refused.
"I was like ‘yeah, yeah’ but didn't. I had never had any other health problem.
"A week later the pain got so bad I was hospitalised for five days where doctors said it was a leg ulcer and put me on strong antibiotics.
"I’ve never felt pain like that in my life."
The infection was so bad she was even forced to quit her job as a sales representative.
She returned to hospital three times for treatments including biotherapy - where medicinal maggots clean the wounds by eating the dead tissue but to no avail.
"They did biotherapy which involves attaching maggots to your leg. For 24 hours I was screaming in agony," she said.
“By the third time I went into hospital, it covered my whole leg.
"It was just completely infected. It was too far gone. It was too little, too late."
In April 2016 doctors at Nottingham's Queen's Medical Center finally suggested taking the drastic step of removing the leg.
They diagnosed her with diabetes, and said the ulcer and infection was a result of the disease.
Czernozukow added: “They said ‘have you thought about amputation?
"They said 'we don’t have to amputate but it could take years to heal if it heals at all’ and I just said to them ‘right, yes, take it off. I want it gone’."
After the operation, Czernozukow was in hospital for five months and once she was discharged had to learn how to move, sit up and walk with a walker or a crutch.
She is now hoping to have a prosthetic leg fitted in the near future, but says she is too scared to shave her remaining limb.
She added: “I can’t believe I have actually got to this point. I have had to be strong. I would love to tell people that there is light at the end of the tunnel.
“I do my absolute best. So many people say ‘you are an inspiration’ and I say ‘no I’m not’. I am in this position and I have had no other choice. It’s sink or swim.
“I don’t shave my other leg any more. It terrifies me.
“As strange as it sounds, I don’t regret the operation one bit.
“I am looking to go back to work. Mentally, I think I am pretty much almost there. That’s the next step in my life.
“I am getting a car, that’s going to be life-changing. Once I have got the car I will look into getting a prosthetic leg.”