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Tuesday, 12 April 2016
I want to extend my heartfelt thanks to The Christie for saving my leg - John Burns
John Burns, Christie patient
In the spring
of 2015 I noticed a reddish spot on my lower left leg and went to get it
checked out. It turned out that a tumour had developed over the previous 12
months, but due to me having Gross Lymphoedema in both legs, the tumor itself
was not apparent until approximately six months prior to my referral to
Manchester Royal Infirmary for various tests.
scans, ECGs, blood tests, x-rays and other tests, my wife and I were told that
the tumor was cancerous and that the only two alternatives were amputation of
my leg or to try and remove the tumor by surgery. It was stressed that due to
the cancer being extremely close to the shin bone it was considered doubtful of
a good outcome. In spite of this I was referred to Mr Kosutic at The Christie.
When I met
with Mr Kosutic, his first opinion was that amputation seemed the best option,
but he and a colleague decided to check with a further scan. They confirmed
that the cancer was only a few millimetres away from the shinbone.
little doubtful, Mr Kosutic said he would operate and hopefully save my leg - a
very brave decision – but somehow I had every faith in him, and six months
later it is so far so good.
Prior to the
operation it was explained to me that it would be a rather large wound, and so
it turned out to be (19cm long by 14.5cm wide).
operation I needed special dressings that were put on in layers, with a 28mm
thick sponge in between covering the wound. The outer layer had an outlet
attached to a vacuum pump which compressed the dressing and sponge to the
wound, and at the same time removed all the blood and lymph fluid, depositing
it into a canister which was regularly changed. This marvellous machine allows
healing to take place more rapidly.
were changed every five days for four weeks. This took a great deal of care and
an unbelievable amount of patience, skill and good nature on the part of the
nursing staff - angels every one of them! After I was discharged, I was
transferred to the Bolton District nursing care.
In October 2015
I was re-admitted overnight for a skin graft operation. It went unbelievably
well and I stopped using the vacuum pump after 10 weeks. I don't think the
wound would have healed so quickly without the pump.
I want to
extend my heartfelt thanks to Mr Kosutic for his wonderful skill, the skill of
his team both in and out of theatre, and also to all of the nurses and staff on
Ward 10 and the Surgical Ward who looked after me during my time at The
Christie. Thank you all.