A Gorebridge man who suffered severe burns in a car fire last year is locked in a battle with NHS Lothian to have his leg amputated in a bid to ease his suffering.
Tam Wood (45) was badly injured when his car engine exploded, leaving him in such agonising pain that he is pleading with doctors to have his lower left leg amputated.
However, he has been told that as he still has a blood flow to his leg he is not eligible for the operation.
Before the accident, Tam was a security guard on a building site, but he is no longer able to work.
He said: “I have just filled in a form for the The Scottish Public Services Ombudsman (SPCO) because I want to have my human rights upheld by getting my leg amputated.
“My car blew up in my face on September 10, 2015, at Cockpen Road in Bonnyrigg.
“I don’t know what happened exactly. I was driving to get a birthday cake with my wife and three kids and the car lost power.
“I pulled in and noticed a funny smell from the engine. I told my wife and kids to get out of the car. Next thing I knew the car blew up in my face as I was checking in the bonnet.
“The car frame just came out and badly burnt my leg and I had to go to hospital. They cleaned my leg up and said I would need surgery and skin graphs.”
Since then Tam has been suffering severe pain in his lower left leg, and he has written to the head of NHS Lothian in his long-running attempt to have his leg amputated to stop his suffering. He gets about with a walking frame, crutches and a wheelchair but says he is in constant pain.
He said: “My life is terrible now. I can’t work and I am always in pain.
“I told them over a year ago to please amputate my leg as the pain is so much I can’t do anything.
“I can’t stand up for too long and I’m in pain because I have got no feelings in my lower leg.
“I want my leg off because I know it would be much easier to stand up with one leg.
“I will be disabled for the rest of my life with this pain. Without my leg I would still be disabled but I could walk with one leg without pain shooting through me.
“But they don’t understand that because they say I have got blood going down to my leg.
“Every time I go to see them they tell me to stand up and sit down and say ‘well you can move’.
“It’s not that though, it’s the pain.”
Tam admitted that his constant agony is having an effect on his four-year marriage to wife Sally and his relationship with his three children, two boys aged 15 and 11 and a ten-year old daughter.
He said: “As I’m on so many painkillers I’m putting on weight. And I’m shouting at my kids because the pain is too much for me to handle.
“My kids want me to do things with them but I can’t. If I could get the amputation then I could do these things with them.”
Tam said he had sought help other than from medics.
“I have been to a psychiatrist,” he said.
“I feel like I’m just being left laughed at by NHS Lothian.
“I’m just fed up with it and I have tried everyone.”
Dr David Farquharson, medical director, NHS Lothian, said: “Due to patient confidentiality we cannot comment on individual cases without patient consent.
“However, we would urge the patient to contact us so that we can discuss his concerns.”