A 19 year old athlete has said CHOOSING to have her leg amputated has been the best decision of her life.
Hannah Moore of Stalbridge is determined to represent her country in triathlon – after having her lower leg removed earlier this year.
The former national karate champion said she had to “fight” for surgery after an agonising condition forced her to stop competing in her beloved sport.
The amputation means she can now compete in wheelchair racing and hand cycling and she has her sights set on para-triathlon.
At the age of 14 she was the youngest member of Honbu Martial Arts centre in Wincanton to gain a black belt in karate in the club’s 25-year history and in 2010 she was national champion in Washinkai Karate.
But in 2012 Hannah was diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS).Severe pain and ulcers on her right ankle and foot made it too painful to train and compete.
Sometimes the pain was so bad she needed to go under general anesthetic to have dressings on the ulcers changed.
After four years of failing treatments, Hannah took the decision to have her right leg amputated and pay for surgery to be carried out privately.Immediately after the operation she was delighted with the results.
She said: “I was really happy. I no longer felt pain. Now I have been able move forward with my life.”
“Getting back to sport made me feel good again. It was the best decision of my life.”
She has recently been fitted for a prosthetic leg and hopes to compete in para-triathlons, with her ambitions set on representing Great Britain in the future.
Hannah will also be able to return to Bournemouth College where she has a scholarship to study to be a chef.
She said there is a lack of basic knowledge of the condition and appropriate treatments among health professionals.
By sharing her story, she aims to increase the awareness of CRPS and give hope to other sufferers.
She praised the charity CRPS UK for the support it has given her although she said its guidance was not to have the amputation.
The charity offers a support network to people with the condition and offers help for the to get specialist treatment.
It aims to improve research, diagnosis and treatment of CRPS.
What is CRPS?
According to the website NHS Choices, Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) is a poorly understood condition in which a person experiences persistent severe and debilitating pain.
Although most cases are triggered by an injury, the resulting pain is much more severe and long-lasting than normal.
The pain is usually confined to one limb, but it can sometimes spread to other parts of the body.
The skin of the affected body part can become so sensitive that just a slight touch, bump or even a change in temperature can provoke intense pain.
Affected areas can also become swollen, stiff or undergo fluctuating changes in colour or temperature.
Many cases of CRPS gradually improve to some degree over time, or get completely better.However, some cases of CRPS never go away, and the affected person will experience pain for many years.