Christopher’s story

Christopher and Rebecca Elwell, Macmillan Advanced Nurse Practitioner for Lymphoedema - Legs Matter Week campaign
Christopher and Clare Mechen, Macmillan Advanced Nurse Practitioner for Lymphoedema

Christopher is 67 and lives in Upton, Dorset. He’s been having treatment for bilateral leg ulcers for the past nine years. His story starts with what he thought was just a simple insect bite.

“It all started when I got stung on the back of one my calves. My leg was itching like hell. I thought it’d go away on its own but when I looked at my legs, they were covered in blisters. From the knee to the ankle –  just covered.”

Christopher initially tried to treat the blisters himself but they quickly became unmanageable:

“I was working for a local butchers delivering meat at the time. I’d put plasters on my legs but the blisters would just leak through. I’d get by with the pain. It was the smell that was the problem.

“People would comment on the smell. It’s not nice knowing that people are talking about you.”

“People I worked with would ask me why I wasn’t doing anything about the blisters. I’d say to them ‘I’m doing everything I can. If you’ve got any ideas let me know because I don’t know what to do.”

Christopher eventually went to a GP where he was diagnosed with bilateral leg ulcers and given dressings for his legs. By this point his ulcers were so severe that the dressings didn’t work.

“I’d walk home from the doctors and by the time I’d got home, my legs would have leaked through the bandages.”

Christopher’s lifestyle at this time was not conducive to healing. He was drinking too much and spent a period of time living in his car, meaning he was unable to care for the skin on his legs properly.

Things began to change when Christopher found his local Leg Club:

“It was at the local working men’s club. I’d go along every week and the nurses would dress my legs properly. They’d do it really tight. You could feel the difference. I’d go along the next week to get it done again and you could see that my legs were getting better.

After regular treatment at the Leg Club, Christopher’s leg ulcers began to heal. He continues to go to the Leg Club every week to have his legs checked.  He stopped drinking almost a year ago and recently moved into a new flat where he enjoys spending time by the river:

“My legs are healed now. I’m sitting here by the river with the sun shining. Life’s good.”

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Other support

Accelerate Accelerate CIC is an independent specialist team who assess and manage people with chronic swelling or non-healing lower leg wounds or ulcers. We're based in London but can accept national referrals from your GP / specialist. For those further afield, please call to discuss possible options.

Contact details
020 3819 6022
info@acceleratecic.com
Find out more on the Accelerate CIC website

The Lindsay Leg Club Foundation Promoting and supporting community based treatment, health promotion, education and ongoing care for people who are experiencing leg-related problems - including leg ulcers and other wound care issues.

Contact details
01473 749565
lynn.bullock@legclubfoundation.com
Find out more on the Lindsay Leg Club Foundation website

NHS Choices the official NHS website, which provides vital information and support about leg and foot signs and other symptoms.

Contact details
Call 111 - for non-emergency medical advice
Find out more on the NHS Choices website

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