Women, 47, forced to have leg amputated after discovering 'blood blister' is deadly cancer
'If I don't have my leg amputated I will die,' says distraught grandmother
Has suffered with a chronic condition that causes swelling for 20 yearsThought cancer was a blood blister
14:30 GMT, 2 October 2012
A grandmother will have her leg amputated after developing what
she thought was a blood blister.
Ms Skelton, 47, has had primary lymphoedema, a chronic condition that
causes swelling in the body's tissue, in her leg for more than 20 years.
But when her leg began to bleed Vicki sought help first from her GP in April, then from her nearest accident and emergency department in Hull in July.
But it wasn't
until last month that doctors told her she had a rare cancer. She was
horrified to learn they would need to remove her left leg from above the
knee to try and stop it from spreading.
Ms Skelton has a condition that can make her body tissue swell (left). She has been told she will have her left leg amputated after developing a rare cancer
Ms Skelton, from Hull, said: 'If I don't have my leg
amputated, I will die. It started off as a blood blister and I think if
they had known what it was, it might not have been like it is now and I might
not be losing my leg.
'I have no choice and I'm gutted. After the operation, I have to have chemotherapy
and, even after all that, they still don't know if it will be clear.
'They said the way this cancer works, it will go
straight to the lungs. They are clear at the moment but you just don't know
what's going to happen.'
Vicki is staying at Castle Hill Hospital in Cottingham and
recent tests confirmed she had angiosarcoma, a
rare cancer of the blood vessels, in her ankle.
She claims her prognosis may have been better if services
to manage the primary lymphoedema were available in Hull and the tumour in her
leg had been detected sooner.
Primary lymphoema is caused by mutations in some of the genes responsible for the development of the lymphatic system. This results in problems in draining fluids from the body properly, and it is treated using massage and compression bandages.
Vicki said there is a possibility of having an artificial
limb in the future but the swelling due to her condition may make it difficult.
Vicki Skelton with her partner SeanTierney. Mr Tierney said: 'Vicki has been through so much pain and suffering'
She said: 'I have always been a carer and looked
after other people. Now the roles are reversed and I will have to cope.
'I'm taking it day by day because there is so much
to take in.'
Vicki's partner, Sean Tierney, 50, said: 'It
shouldn't have come to this. Vicki has been through so much pain and suffering.
'She has only just got an allotment and she loves
going to the park with our granddaughter to feed the ducks.
'That will all have to change and she will have to
learn to walk again.'
A spokesman for Hull And East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS
Trust, which runs Hull Royal Infirmary and Castle Hill Hospital, said it was
not appropriate to comment on Vicki's case.