Edinburgh granddad has leg amputated to stop spread of sepsis

A GRATEFUL grandad has told how he battled back from his lowest ebb after losing half his leg to hidden killer sepsis.

Friday, 5th July 2019, 5:51 pm
Stuart Rose is fighting back
Stuart Rose is fighting back

Father-of-five Stuart Rose tried to take his own life with an overdose as doctors struggled to defeat his illness.

The retired landscape gardener from Corstorphine spoke to the Evening News in the same week a damning report revealed one in four sufferers wait too long for treatment.

“The surgeon told me we could plan to take my leg off this afternoon or plan my funeral tomorrow - he saved my life,” said Mr Rose, 60.

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Diabetic Mr Rose first started to feel unwell in January and went to his doctors at East Craigs Medical Centre.

The following month he had four toes amputated in two separate procedures but it failed to halt the infection’s spread.

“The doctor said the first toe was dead and he just took it off with a pair of pliers - he said I wouldn’t feel a thing and I didn’t.”

But the radical procedure failed to stop the pain his condition continued to take an intolerable toll.

“I tried to take my own life with an overdose while my wife was at the shops,” said Mr Rose. “She came back and called an ambulance and I was taken to hospital.

“She’s amazing, an angel, an absolute godsend,” said an emotional Mr Rose of wife Anne-Marie.

A drastic procedure to remove the flesh from his left foot also failed to stop the spread and so Mr Rose was left with no alternative but to have his left leg amputated below the knee in March.

“I feel let down that it wasn’t spotted earlier. If they’d spotted it in mid-January when I was first there, then maybe it would’ve saved my leg - it was maybe four weeks too late.

But with a new diet and fitness regime, Mr Rose has bounced back and is currently being fitted for a prosthetic limb.

He was even well enough to go on a holiday with family including 11-year-old granddaughter Lucy-Ann to Craig Tara in Ayrshire in April.

“I’ve had to work really hard,” said Mr Rose. “A carer takes me to the gym every week. My friends say they can’t believe how well I’ve adapted. I’ve got everything to live for.”

His new-found fitness programme includes swimming sessions with the Edinburgh Limb Loss Association.

Gardeners’ charity Perennial, meanwhile, donated £1,000 for a powerpack for Mr Rose’s wheelchair to make getting around easier.

Chief executive of the UK Sepsis Trust, Dr Ron Daniels, said: “Stories like Stuart’s remind us just how devastating the effects of sepsis can be, if it is not caught early.

“Every day in the UK, individuals and families have their lives torn apart by the condition, but better awareness could save thousands of lives each year.

“Whenever there are signs of infection it’s crucial that healthcare professionals ‘think sepsis’: with every hour that passes before the right antibiotics are administered, risk of death increases.

“Earlier recognition and treatment can save lives and mean hugely improved outcomes for those affected.”