A UK mom of two lost half her thigh — and endured 55 surgeries — after a small scratch from a fishing line became infected.
Now, she’s begging doctors to remove her right leg altogether.
“I’m sick of spending my life in [the] hospital,” Michelle Milton, 40, lamented to SWNS.
Her ordeal began during a 2019 fishing trip with her brother, Martyn. A portion of the nylon line in her front pocket pierced her right thigh after she slipped on some rocks on the first day of the excursion.
Milton’s leg swelled up and she developed a fever, so she went to Basildon University Hospital in Essex four days later.
Doctors battled to stop the infection but it became resistant to antibiotics, so they were forced to cut into her thigh.
After 55 procedures, including skin grafts, wound irrigation, and tissue removal, Milton has a gaping hole in her inner leg and says she is highly resistant to antibiotics.
“I never thought a fishing line could cause so much damage,” said Milton, who lives in Essex. “Every day is filled with agony, and I’ve begged them to take [my leg] off. They just keep cutting away at” it.
She says medics gave her antibiotics on her first visit to the emergency room, in August 2019.
When the wound began to weep pus, doctors decided to X-ray her leg.
She says she was again sent home with antibiotics.
“They had no idea what was going on,” Milton said of her care team. “The pain grew, and the infection kept spreading across my leg. They just [kept] discharging me and prescribing me antibiotics.”
Then medics performed a washout, a procedure to clean the open wound, in December 2019.
Milton said the move left her injury wide open.
Over the next four years, she underwent four skin grafts, 30 washouts, and 21 debridements to remove the damaged tissue.
“I can barely walk or sit down,” she moaned. “There’s going to be nothing left of me.”
In October, Basildon surgeons performed a washout and fitted the wound with a pump to suck out the pus.
Medics say the infection is spreading down Milton’s right leg — it’s kept her in and out of the hospital.
“I don’t know how much more I can take,” said Milton, the mom of a 17-year-old daughter and a 20-year-old son. “I haven’t been [a mom] in years. My mom’s been doing everything for my kids.”
Milton is in the hospital waiting to hear if she has a blood clot in her right leg.
Beyond frustrated, she is proposing having the leg amputated so she can move on with her life.
“Nothing seems to work, none of the treatments help at all,” she said. “I can’t believe a simple scratch has left me like this.”