Sussex

Seaford leg amputation woman in NHS legal fight

Karen Webb Image copyright PA
Image caption Karen Webb said she had lost her leg and been stripped of her independence

A woman whose foot and part of her leg were amputated is taking legal action against the NHS over her treatment.

Karen Webb, of Seaford, East Sussex, says doctors failed to treat a ulcer and claims she was "consistently" told her foot was not infected.

Lawyers have launched civil action against two trusts - Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS and East Sussex Healthcare NHS.

Both trusts declined to comment while legal proceedings were ongoing.

Lawyers said the ulcer cracked Mrs Webb's heel bone as it worsened, and the infected dead tissue and skin could no longer be treated with antibiotics.

'Shooting pain'

Mrs Webb, 47, who now has to use a wheelchair, said she was told tests were clear despite the wound weeping, smelling and her skin turning black.

"Towards the end of the infection, it felt like my foot was on fire and I was being stabbed with a knife," she said.

"The pain was shooting up my leg."

She said it got so bad, she was relieved to hear she would lose part of her limb.

However, she said she later went on to realise it meant she had been "stripped of my independence too".

The former nursing home assistant, who is also complaining about the use of a picture of her infected foot in a medical journal, said: "I feel like a freak which is hard when I used to take so much pride in my appearance.

"This has affected my life forever."

Lawyers claim both trusts were negligent during hospital appointments between 2014 to 2015.

Emma Doughty, clinical negligence lawyer, accused the trusts of a "sustained and concerning lack of medical attention".

Legal documents were submitted to the High Court in November.

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