Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

VIDEO: ‘People call me the Elephant Man’

Michael Cull has endured a 10-year nightmare as he watched his left leg balloon to more than three stone in weight.

The 66-year-old struggles to walk any distance and suffers abuse from strangers when he leaves the house.

But, despite repeated visits to doctors and specialists north and south of the border, Mr Cull has been told there is nothing that can be done to treat his condition.

The retired computer technician from Aberdeenshire says the failure to act had all but wrecked his life – and that he feels the medical profession has turned its back on him.

“Ten years of my life have been virtually destroyed,” he said.

“It has been an absolute nightmare.”

Michael Cull - modern-day Elephant Man

Mr Cull, who lives in Union Street, Rosehearty, near Fraserburgh, first noticed the symptoms after a car accident while he was living in London.

When swelling appeared around his knee, he visited a hospital and was told it was like a “sports injury” which would calm down.

He was later diagnosed as having gross lymphedema.

After moving to Scotland, he began visiting GPs at the Finlayson Street medical practice in Fraserburgh and was referred to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where he was given stockings, which failed to halt the problem.

The swelling has now spread from his toes up to his hip, leaving his leg lumpy and deformed.

It was only after Mr Cull contacted First Minister Alex Salmond that he was referred to a consultant in Dundee last year – and was given what he hoped was a breakthrough diagnosis.

“He took one look at it and said he had never seen this in the UK before,” he recalled.

“He said he thought it was elephantiasis and that you only got it in third world countries.

“People call me the elephant man.”

The specialist also discovered his kidneys were being affected by the disease and large cysts had formed on them.

But when Mr Cull visited the London Hospital of Tropical Diseases on the recommendation of a friend, blood tests failed to find any signs of the parasite which is the most common cause of the disease.

To date, Mr Cull is still waiting for medical treatment that could alleviate his suffering.

“They should have been monitoring me from the beginning to see how it progressed, but it just seemed like on every level no one was interested,” he said.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]