A holidaymaker had to have his leg amputated after his new sandals gave him a blister.
Chris Witt, 64, was enjoying the sunshine in Tenerife when he noticed a small lump on his big toe, but thought nothing of it.
But to his horror, after a few days the blister had become infected and spread to the bone in his foot – resulting in him needing his foot amputated.
However, that wasn’t the end of it for Chris, further complications lead the infection to spread and surgeons were forced to carry out a second amputation below the knee.
Chris, who is from St Austell, in Cornwall, was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and admits he didn’t take his diagnosis as seriously as he should have done.
His problems started during the holiday back in 2013.
Chris said: “I went from a blister on my big toe to losing a leg. You don’t realise how vulnerable you are until something like this happens.
“The surgeons initially suggested a full foot amputation and were quite optimistic that in six months they should be able to get me back into normal shoes, however my wound wouldn’t heal.
“It was tedious having it dressed three times a week but I didn’t want to lose the limb.
“I explained to the doctor that I had a cruise booked for the following week and would face the music when I got back.
“However the doctor looked at me across the table and said he wanted to do a below the knee amputation the following day.”
Despite amputation and blindness being prevalent diabetes-related complications, only one in four (25 per cent) people surveyed said, unprompted, that they were linked to diabetes.
Chris, who admits he was overweight, said he was not concerned when he was first given the diagnosis but now wishes he had taken more heed of the advice.
He added: “My doctor ran some tests as I had been feeling absolutely dreadful.
“I remember being on my way to Norway when he phoned to tell me I had diabetes. It really didn’t faze me at all as I didn’t really know too much about the implications.”
“There was a really good nurse at my practice who was dedicated to looking after people with diabetes. I remember the message coming through from her about looking after my feet but I just didn’t take it on board.
“I should’ve taken heed of the advice that was being given.”
Annika Palmer, Diabetes UK south west regional head, said: “Losing a limb, eyesight or having a stroke is devastating and often life-changing.
“It is vital people with diabetes receive the right support from their healthcare teams to help them identify any early signs of a complication.
“Many complications can be prevented or delayed so it is incredibly important that people with diabetes are vigilant and contact their GP as soon as possible if they have any concerns.”