Dad-of-five has arm amputated after grazing knuckles while working on his car

A father-of-five had to have his arm amputated after he developed sepsis which started from grazing his knuckles while working on his car.

Stephen Rae, from Cumbernauld, said he noticed a minor cut which quickly scabbed over after he was tinkering with his motor in May 2017.

He dismissed the slight graze and carried on with his day-to-day life until it was put to a halt when he discovered his right forearm was extremely swollen the following month.

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The die-hard Celtic fan went to Hairmyres Hospital and was put on an IV drip to treat the blood poisoning, reports Daily Record.

After 10 days he was released from the facility, but ended up being readmitted just weeks later after the infection returned in his limb.

In December that year, the dad thought he was suffering from a bad flu when his right elbow began to swell up.

He went to hospital but passed out in the A&E waiting room before waking up in the ICU on life support. A cyst in his elbow had burst causing an infection to attack multiple organs as the sepsis took hold.

After several more hospital admissions and brushes with death, medics removed all the tissue from his forearm in January 2020 before later removing his elbow joint.

But in May this year, doctors at Wishaw General discovered that cells at the bone fusion site had turned necrotic meaning his best chance of survival was to have his entire limb cut off.

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Recalling a heartbreaking phone call to his wife Kelly, Stephen said: “I nearly died three times. It’s normally three strikes and you’re out so I am quite lucky.

“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.

“Having your arm taken off also really affects your balance. My wife has been left to do everything for me and the kids – we’d be lost without her. She’s an absolute angel.”

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Sepsis and reoccurring infections in his right harm almost cost Stephen his life.

“They told me I was lucky I went up when I did because if I’d stayed at home, I’d be dead," he added.

"When the cyst burst, an infection had gone right through my system and it was shutting my organs down one by one.”

Stephen was placed in a medically induced coma in January 2020 after suffering another infection.

He explained: “My wife noticed I was off colour. I went down to Monklands hospital in a taxi and the driver had to help me walk in.

“I was sitting in the waiting room and then I remember lying on my side on the floor. There were doctors and nurses running towards me.

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“The next thing I know, I’m waking up in Wishaw hospital two weeks later after being in an induced coma.

“They had removed my right forearm."

In a last ditch attempt to remove the infection, Stephen’s elbow joint was removed with the upper and lower arm bones fused together with metal pins.

He spent six months with a metal cage around the affected limb but continued to be blighted by infections with his arm finally being amputated almost one year later on May 25, 2022.

Stephen is now fundraising to generate enough cash to buy a prosthetic limb to help him get back to being a doting dad.

To donate visit here.


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