Midlothian father who cut his foot on holiday ends up losing half his leg

The dad was unaware of the damage done until he saw a pool of blood surrounding his right foot.

By Shona Elliott
Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 6:23 am
Updated Tuesday, 25th August 2020, 8:08 am
Father-of-three Ian Robertson on holiday with family in Kos, Greece, shortly before the accident.
Father-of-three Ian Robertson on holiday with family in Kos, Greece, shortly before the accident.

A dad-of-three who suffered a minor cut on a family holiday was left reeling when medics later told him he had to have part of his leg amputated.

Ian Robertson, 69, was only two days into a family trip to Kos in Greece, with his wife, three daughters and three grandchildren last August when he cut his big toe.

The family were staying in the Aegean View Aqua Resort and heading out for dinner when support worker Ian stepped on uneven tiling in their hotel room and sliced the skin off his toe.

Ian Robertson after operation in Edinburgh's Royal Infirmary

Iain was unaware of the damage done until he saw a pool of blood surrounding his right foot.

His wife, Margret, 53, a critical care support worker, contacted the resort’s 24/7 medical team for help but was told her husband would not be seen until Monday morning because it was the weekend.

After finally seeing a doctor, the family decided to continue with their holiday ensuring the wound was carefully cleaned by medical staff every second day.

When they flew home, Ian, of Carrington, Midlothian, was referred by GP to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary where he was kept under observation.

Ian Robertson's foot two weeks after accident in Kos, Greece.

Over the following months a serious infection developed and it was decided that Ian needed a below-the-knee amputation to stop it spreading.

Ian said: “ I slipped into a depression. I remember wishing I wasn’t alive anymore, I couldn’t have gotten any lower.

“Then one evening I spoke to a man called Peter in the bed next to me. He’d had his right foot amputated and he said to me that he was happy to get it done because it gave him his life back.

“That statement changed my thinking and after speaking to Peter I became more positive. I wanted to get out of the hospital and on with my life.

“By the time I was going in for the operation I was telling the doctor: ‘just take the leg off and get me my life back’.”

Ian has begun learning to walk on a new prosthetic leg which he describes as “the best feeling of his whole life”.

But he was stunned when he was told that he was not entitled to any mobility or disability benefits because of his age.

Ian said: “I couldn’t even apply for help because I’m retired. If you become disabled after you are of retirement age, 66, you are not entitled to any help.”

He requires special equipment, costing £2000, to allow him to drive and regain his independence, which the family cannot afford.

Now, close friend Frank Mitchell has started a fundraising campaign to pay the bill.

And Ian, who was unaware of the generous gesture, said: “I do feel quite awkward about it but very pleased that people are kind enough to help.

“I want to get my mobility back then I am going to start campaigning for others who are retired and suffer a life-changing disability.

“I can’t imagine how many people are suffering in silence, discarded by our government. You’ll see me campaigning outside Parliament for them as soon as I am mobile again.”

You can donate to Ian’s fundraiser here.