A DAD had to have his arms amputated after a minor injury while tinkering with his car.
Stephen Rae, 40, thought nothing of it when he grazed his knuckles – with the injury quickly scabbing over as days went by.
But weeks later, Stephen – from Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire – woke up horrified when his arm swelled up.
He was rushed to hospital and treated for blood poisoning – but the infection then returned worse than before.
A cyst in his elbow had burst and the infection spread to his other organs. Stephen then had to have his arm amputated.
Stephen told the Daily Record: “I nearly died three times. It’s normally three strikes and you’re out so I am quite lucky.
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“I was faced with never seeing my kids and wife again or having my arm amputated.
“There’s just no comparison so I told the doctors to take it off.
“I called Kelly to tell her and I could barely speak because I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.
“She was the same. But it wasn’t really a difficult decision to make because the alternative doesn’t bare thinking about.
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“I’m left-handed so it’s been a massive adjustment. It’s like my whole world has come crashing down.”
Stephen said he faces challenges learning to live without his arm.
“The amount of care that I need is unreal. I can’t even put on a pair of socks myself,” hy het bygevoeg.
“It means that my wife has had to pick up all the slack.
“It’s the little things that I can’t help with that I find the most challenging – like the hoovering or the dishes.”
Stephen thought he had the flu when his cyst burst a few days before Christmas.
“I was getting hot and cold sweats so I thought it was the flu,” hy het gesê.
“Then my elbow began to swell up. It took me three hours to put a hospital bag together.
“It felt like someone was sitting on my shoulders.
“I went to the A&E hospital and woke up the next day in the ICU. I’d lost consciousness sitting in the waiting room.
“I was hooked up to all these machines that were keeping me alive.
“They told me I was lucky I went up when I did because if I’d stayed at home, I’d be dead.”
Doctors initially thought Stephen wouldn’t need his whole arm amputated.
In plaas daarvan, they removed his elbow joint and fused the upper and lower arm bones together.
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The dad spend six months with a cage around his arm.
But this didn’t keep the infection at bay, and he had the whole limb amputated 12 months later.