Australia

Andrew stood on a gumnut in his backyard and a month later his leg had to be amputated

A man is lucky to be alive after stepping on a piece of chewing gum and developing an infection so severe it ultimately required the amputation of his leg.

Andrew Trigg, 40, stepped on the gumnut at his home in New Lambton Heights, Newcastle, in the NSW Hunter Region, on May 12.

A seed became lodged under the skin of his right foot and continued to fester for the next month, becoming so bad that he could no longer move or eat.

Mr Trigg was eventually taken to hospital, where he was diagnosed with sepsis.

Surgeons first amputated his toes, but later realized the infection had spread, forcing them to remove the lower half of his leg.

The 40-year-old was shocked by how a seemingly innocent moment could lead to a life-threatening illness, but was determined to overcome the adversity.

“This isn’t going to define me. It will change me, but not define me,” he said.

Mr Trigg said he did not immediately think of the wound after stepping on the gumnut.

Andrew Trigg, 40, (pictured) stepped on a gumnut in May, causing a seed to become lodged under the skin of his right foot. It became infected, leading to a lower leg amputation

Andrew Trigg, 40, (pictured) stepped on a gumnut in May, which caused a seed to lodge under the skin of his right foot. It became infected, leading to the amputation of his lower leg

Mr Trigg was put on antibiotics just weeks after stepping on the gumnut as the infection appeared to be spreading and was starting to smell (shown: his right foot before he was taken to hospital)

Mr Trigg was put on antibiotics just weeks after stepping on the gumnut as the infection appeared to be spreading and was starting to smell (shown: his right foot before he was taken to hospital)

The semen had caused an ulcer and after he and his wife Kylie cleaned and dressed it every day, his foot seemed fine.

But a month later, Mr Trigg fell at home and his wound took the brunt of it.

Within a few days he had a significant bruise and an unpleasant odor coming from his foot.

“That’s when I knew I needed antibiotics,” he told Daily Mail Australia.

After being given a script by a doctor online because he was “unable to move,” he began the five-day regimen but noticed the inflammation beginning to spread to his leg.

Mr Trigg said he was not feeling well and could only keep down a slice of toast, some grapes and ‘litres’ of water for the next week.

His wife insisted she take him to John Hunter Hospital after his pain worsened.

After some initial tests, a nurse told him he had diabetes – a condition Mr Trigg had no idea he was living with.

The nurse explained that diabetes could make infections even more problematic.

Mr Trigg said his wife of 14 years, Kylie, (pictured with their dogs) saved his life by getting him to hospital

Mr Trigg said his wife of 14 years, Kylie, (pictured with their dogs) saved his life by getting him to hospital

The 40-year-old told Daily Mail Australia he felt overwhelmed and was grateful for the support he received from family and friends.

The 40-year-old told Daily Mail Australia he felt overwhelmed and was grateful for the support he received from family and friends.

After a day of blood tests and the 40-year-old being observed by doctors, specialists were told his big toe would have to be removed the next day because he had sepsis.

Sepsis is the body’s life-threatening response to infection, attacking tissues and organs.

“They told me the hope was in removing it [the big toe] “They would use the remaining skin to wrap the rest of the foot and hopefully preserve it,” Mr Trigg said.

But later that evening, specialists gave Mr Trigg a shocking blow, telling him there was no ‘good tissue in the area’ and that they had to ‘take another couple of toes’, after concluding his foot was ‘there’ didn’t look good’. .

Despite the life-changing operations, Mr Trigg had not lost his sense of humour. He said: ‘They took the two toes at the end and left the toes in the middle. It was like wearing a pointy heel.’

Shortly after the operation, doctors received further bad news from Mr Trigg and his wife.

Mr Trigg (pictured with wife Kylie) said he wants people to make sure they go to the doctor if something doesn't feel right. He said men tend to be dismissive and urged all Australians not to delay seeking medical help

Mr Trigg (pictured with his wife Kylie) said he wants people to make sure they go to the doctor if something doesn’t feel right. He said men tend to dismiss things as nonsense and has called on all Australians not to delay seeking medical help

“They said that although the amputation of my toes was successful, the infection had spread to my foot and there was no good tissue left,” he said.

‘The doctors said my option was to cut the foot back little by little, but the infection could continue to spread. Or I could leave it and die.

‘The last option was to have my lower leg amputated below my knee and give myself the best chance.

“I had no problem with the amputation because the only other option is death.”

Despite the ordeal Mr Trigg endured, which included undergoing further surgery two days later to reshape his limb, he wants to make it clear to people, particularly men, that they should not delay treatment.

“Don’t be too proud to seek help. The minute you see something different — a spot, a cut, a lump — go to a doctor right away,” he said.

Mr Trigg has just turned 40 and has set himself the goal of working hard enough to see his wife perform in a musical at the end of July (pictured with wife Kylie on his 40th birthday)

Having only recently turned 40, Mr Trigg has set a goal to see his wife perform in a musical at the end of July (pictured with wife Kylie at 40)

Everything you need to know about sepsis

With sepsis, your body reacts extremely to an infection

Sepsis is life-threatening

Call 000 or go to a hospital emergency department immediately if you or someone you care for has any of the following serious symptoms:

* feeling very sick (the worst you have ever felt) or becoming very sick very quickly

* difficulty breathing or breathing very quickly (in children or babies you may hear grunting sounds or the bottom of the chest may be sucked in during breathing)

* not having to urinate (pee) all day or fewer wet diapers (less urination) than normal in young children or babies

* a new, worrying rash or rash that doesn’t go away when you roll a glass over it

* confusion

* blue, gray, pale or blotchy skin

* feeling that your child is very ill. You know your child best. Trust your instincts if you think something is wrong.

Even if you have already seen a doctor, if you or your child is still sick and not getting better, go back to your doctor or hospital emergency department, or call Triple Zero

Never be afraid to ask, “Could it be sepsis?”

Source: NSW Health

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“Don’t tell yourself, ‘It’ll pass, it’ll be okay’ – you can’t risk it.”

“The doctors told me that if I had waited a few more days, I could have been dead or at least in intensive care, fighting for my life.”

The payroll consultant, who according to his doctors is ‘not yet out of the danger zone’ and ‘still has a long way to go’, has now used up the last part of his leave and no longer receives a salary.

His wife of 14 years, who works in elderly care and works temporarily, is not entitled to leave. She now works half days so she can be with her husband every day.

“I will have to stay in the hospital for at least a couple of months for rehabilitation. The doctors told me it will take months before I can hop, turn and pivot, just like a prosthetic,” he said.

The 40-year-old man says he will be in a wheelchair for months and the couple’s rental home will need some adjustments.

a GoFundMe was founded by good friend Kerrie Stephens to help the couple with the couple’s regular expenses, such as rent, medical bills and adjustments to their car and suitable accommodation.

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