One foot in the grave not stopping Sophie from helping others after Peterborough Hospital blunder

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A woman who had her lower leg amputated eight years after suffering from an operation blunder is now dedicating herself to helping other people suffering from physical pain.

Sophie Nicholson received over £300,000 in compensation from the Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust after an operation in 2007 on her left foot caused a huge amount of pain.

Sophie Nicholson

Sophie Nicholson

But after taking the drastic decision to have her foot removed Sophie, of Cardea, Stanground, who was 25 at the time of her first operation, has received requests for help after documenting her story on a Facebook page she set up called Sophie’s Journey - One Foot in the Grave.

And going forward she hopes her story will inspire other people after undergoing what she describes as “the best thing I ever did” by having the amputation last year.

Sophie said: “I’ve had quite a few people reach out to me. When I was researching amputation I could find all the technical jargon but not something I could relate to like someone’s personal diary.

“And I felt that’s what I needed, someone’s personal experience. So I decided to start up a Facebook page and log it all on there almost as a day-to-day guide to feelings and emotions.

Sophie Nicholson

Sophie Nicholson

“A lot of people that have gone through my page have said what they like about it is the humour because a lot of people are so serious about disability.

“Others who have had cancer have said ‘you’re an inspiration’, you’re really helping me.”

The messages Sophie receives are from people who say nobody understands what they are going through, and this week she is visiting someone to share her personal experiences.

But with the current arrangement being fairly informal, Sophie hopes to take it a step further in the future. She said: “I plan to go to college and do counselling. I want to specialise in working with disabled people.

“And at the moment I’m volunteering with Inspire Peterborough which encourages disabled people into sport.

“For seven to eight years I had no help or support. My friends and family were there for me but could not help me.”

Sophie’s incorrect operation at the Edith Cavell Hospital was for a pes cavus (high arch). Expecting a foot surgeon to perform the operation, she was surprised to find out afterwards that it was instead a lower limb surgeon who had performed the procedure as a foot surgeon was not available.

She realised something was wrong straight away when she was in far more pain than before with her toes stuck up in the air and at an angle.

Despite trying physio, pain injections and pain management, nothing worked until she had the amputation, but because of her condition she had bulged discs in her back.