Footballer fears he may lose his leg

By Benedict O'ConnorA FOOTBALLER fears he could lose his leg unless he has a hospital operation to save the limb, which was badly fractured in a match six months ago.

By Benedict O'Connor

A FOOTBALLER fears he could lose his leg unless he has a hospital operation to save the limb, which was badly fractured in a match six months ago.

Stuart Turner, 22, from Mildenhall, said he was facing an agonising wait for surgery, which could prevent him becoming permanently disabled, as he had yet to get a date for the operation to save his wounded leg.

Mr Turner suffered a compound fracture, which left part of the bone protruding through his skin, in a match on October 24 when playing for Mildenhall Athletic and was taken to West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds. “They told me they would need to operate within six hours to prevent the spread of infection, but something else happened and they didn't have time,” he said.

“They performed a temporary operation and a few days later a steel plate was fitted and I was discharged a week later and a little while after that they found I had the bug MRSA.”

His case was referred in November to a consultant at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

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Mr Turner said the consultant told him in February this year, after his condition had worsened, that he required urgent surgery that would involve the removal of the infected bone and the grafting of healthy bone.

He added: “I asked what would happen if I didn't have the operation soon and they said if the infection gets into the blood it could be life-threatening and I could lose a leg.”

Mr Turner claimed he was initially told the operation could not be conducted in February and, having waited for a date to come through the post, he eventually phoned the hospital and was told he was listed for November.

“I have since been told there might hear by the end of March, but March is half over, it just makes me wonder how urgent is urgent,” he said.

“Obviously I've been sat here thinking about it, the wound hasn't healed and I'm worried about losing my leg.”

A spokesman for the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital said Mr Turner required a six-hour operation that needed to be fitted into its schedule.

He added: “He is outside our area although he has elected to be treated here. He does not have a life-threatening condition and we are going to fit him in as and when we can.

“The earliest possible date is April because we have our own list to get through and our own urgent cases to deal with.

“If it had been a life-threatening condition, he would have been seen straight away. If we thought he was going to lose his leg, we would have had him in straight away.”

A spokesman for West Suffolk Hospital said Mr Turner had waited more than eight hours for his initial operation because its accident and emergency department had been busy.

“We regret he is not happy with the care he received. We are not able to discuss individual patient's cases, but if Mr Turner would like to contact the trust we will look into his case and he will receive a full explanation of the circumstances of the care and post-care he received,” he added.


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