A mother has asked doctors to cut off her left arm after a tiny scratch left her fighting for her life.
Jade Harle, 32, was injured in 2018 and has been living with an agonizing wound to her limb ever since.
She has no skin left on her arm, leaving her vulnerable to constant infections, battling sepsis and “on the brink of death” on several occasions.
Because she is so often ill with sepsis, which can be fatal within hours, doctors say they cannot remove her arm.
Jade, from Gillingham, Kent, is now asking strangers to help fund a £40,000 private surgery so she can stop living in fear and agony.
She told The Mirror: “There’s no end in sight and it’s hard to live with. I just want this to be over.
“Every day I wake up scared and it’s scary. i fight for my life I’m just not me at all.”
Four years ago, Jade’s arm was injured while rescuing someone from drowning as an RNLI lifeboat paramedic.
Her arm was scratched by something in the water and the hospital gave her a tetanus shot and antibiotics as a precaution.
But she never thought that such a small wound would ruin her life.
Jade thought the scratch was healing, but in the weeks following the incident it became infected and developed large black sores.
Six weeks after the scratch, she was talking to her mother when she suddenly said she felt very ill and had passed out.
Jade said: “My mum called an ambulance, I was totally upset, I had lost four liters of blood, they didn’t know how as I wasn’t bleeding.
“I had sepsis and I was really scared.”
Sepsis occurs when the body accidentally starts attacking itself as an overreaction to an infection.
As it progresses, healthy tissues, including organs and skin, begin to die, leading to amputation, organ failure, and possible death.
Jade said: “They told me we had to amputate your arm. That was all within three or four hours of arrival.
“I said can we just wait and have some time to think.
“I thought I can try to fight it, I didn’t want to lose my arm.”
Doctors cleaned the infected wound on her arm and removed rotted tissue.
Jade, who feared losing her arm at the time, said it looked like someone tried to scoop out the insides of her arm with a spoon.
But her ordeal wasn’t over, as Jade has been hospitalized with sepsis eight times in the four years since.
Each time she fought for her life.
Jade has been discovered to have pyoderma gangrenosum, a rare immune disorder that causes painful ulcers.
These ulcers can develop quickly on their own or around an injury.
Sometimes it can be caused by minor skin damage like a needle stick or bug bite, says the NHS.
Due to her condition, Jade says skin grafts haven’t worked because her body simply attacks the flesh and creates new boils.
In retrospect, she regrets turning down the arm amputation in 2018 and says trying to remove the tissue in her arm would have accelerated her pyoderma gangrenosum.
Jade is caught in a vicious cycle as she cannot be amputated while she has sepsis but is susceptible to infections that cause sepsis while she still has her arm.
She has spent the last eight months of the year in the hospital, with only a few minutes of visits a day.
The mother-of-one could barely see her 12-year-old son, who is being cared for by his grandparents.
Jade said: “We lost four years. He has special needs so doesn’t really understand.
“She [his grandparents] usually bring him over for a few minutes, but I just want to be a mom again.”
Jade has started a GoFundMe page to receive private treatment, which would first involve reducing her immune system to prevent her body from attacking itself.
If the operation can be performed by the NHS, she would like to fund a prosthetic arm.
Jade wrote: “4 years after that first small cut it was the same story, pain every second of the day, infection after infection.
“There’s only so much a person can take, my body will continue to attack itself, but with my arm removed I may have a chance of a decent recovery.
“I’m on super strong painkillers and I’m sick all the time because I’ve exposed a nerve in my wrist, we’re not moving fast and the risk of getting sepsis again is so high.
“I’ve been to the death door 8 times now, my son is 12 and I’ve watched most of the last 4 years of his life from a hospital bed [sic].”
https://www.the-sun.com/health/5458371/begged-doctors-amputate-arm-after-tiny-scratch-threatened-life/ I asked the doctors to cut off my arm after struggling for my life from a tiny scratch