A woman who was forced to spend a year in hospital after having her leg amputated has been forced back in again – to have a toe removed from the other leg.
Debbie Michie, 61, lost the toe last weekend after discovering damage to the digit.
The cause is similar to that which caused her to lose her leg – an ulcer complicated by her diabetes.
She was only allowed to return home to Nethy Bridge in September, almost exactly a year to the day since she first went into hospital.
The delay was because NHS Highland struggled to put a care package together to help her at home.
She is hoping to be released from Raigmore Hospital in Inverness today – and is facing a race against time to be released, as she will lose her home carers if she is not out within three weeks of admission.
Speaking last night, husband Iain said the situation was something “like a nightmare”.
He said: “It came completely out of the blue. At the end of last week Deb phoned me and said they wanted her at hospital and I was to take her.
“By Sunday they had taken her toe off. It was an incredibly quick turnaround.
“There was a bit of hole on the toe which we had known about but it was getting bigger.
“Hopefully they’ve caught it soon enough.”
He added: “Now we’re just hoping that she gets out soon enough because we’ve been told that if she’s not out in three weeks then we lose the care package.
“I’m sure we both thought ‘here we go again’ when she went in.”
Mrs Michie has been receiving visits four times a day from specialist carers at her home.
Her initial ordeal was because NHS Highland were unable to dedicate enough staff.
The health board has admitted that recruitment to the adult care sector is a growing problem, particularly in Badenoch and Strathspey, where the Michies live.
Mr Michie, a 63-year-old painter and decorator, added: “The carers have been absolutely brilliant, they can’t be faulted.
“We just don’t want to lose that after waiting so long.”