Mother, 49, loses leg in a freak accident which caused her shin to 'explode'

A mother lost her leg to a life-threatening infection after surgery for a freak accident in a car park led to it exploding with pus. 

Helen Way, 49, broke her knee by overstepping a kerb in the car park and had metal plates put into her leg after emergency surgery. 

But the mother-of-one from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, had to return to hospital a month later when the scar began 'weeping'.

She heard a popping sound and the infected scar erupted, continuing to ooze with pus for an entire night while she waited for surgery at Bath's Royal United Hospital.

Doctors attempted to save Helen's leg by carrying out 12 surgeries but it was 'too damaged'.

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Relatives feared for her life when her organs began shutting off as a result of the infection. 

After weeks of operations taking parts of her leg off, she made the painful decision to have the whole amputated to stop the infection spreading further. 

Helen Way (pictured), 49, from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, had to have her leg amputated after suffering from sepsis

Helen Way (pictured), 49, from Trowbridge, Wiltshire, had to have her leg amputated after suffering from sepsis

The scar from her original surgery for the broken leg began weeping (pictured) forcing her to take the difficult decision to have it amputated

Helen's leg after it was amputated

The scar from her original surgery for the broken leg began weeping (left) forcing her to take the difficult decision to have it amputated (right)

Former business owner Helen said: 'It was a freak accident as my knee broke in half from overstepping in November 2019.

'The doctor said I did a "spectacular job" as I needed plates and screws to repair it.

'I spent 10 days in hospital but when I was discharged, I noticed the scar was weeping.'

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Helen was prescribed pain killers as her leg began to feel like it was burning. It was swollen and progressively getting worse.

WHY DID HELEN'S LEG 'EXPLODE'? 

The 'explosion' in Helen's leg while she waited for surgery was caused by a sepsis infection.

The scar left by her surgery for her broken knee became infected.

Infected wounds can fill with pus or cloudy, green or foul smelling liquid, which can pop after the build up becomes to high. 

Sepsis occurs when the body reacts to an infection by attacking its own organs and tissues.

Some 44,000 people die from sepsis every year in the UK. Worldwide, someone dies from the condition every 3.5 seconds.

Sepsis has similar symptoms to flu, gastroenteritis and a chest infection.

These include:

Slurred speech or confusion Extreme shivering or muscle pain Passing no urine in a day Severe breathlessness It feels like you are dying Skin mottled or discoloured

Symptoms in children are:

Fast breathing Fits or convulsions Mottled, bluish or pale skin Rashes that do not fade when pressed Lethargy Feeling abnormally cold

Under fives may be vomiting repeatedly, not feeding or not urinating for 12 hours.

Anyone can develop sepsis but it is most common in people who have recently had surgery, have a urinary catheter or have stayed in hospital for a long time.

Other at-risk people include those with weak immune systems, chemotherapy patients, pregnant women, the elderly and the very young.

Treatment varies depending on the site of the infection but involves antibiotics, IV fluids and oxygen, if necessary.

Sources: UK Sepsis Trust and NHS Choices

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