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.

‘Elephant Man’ suffers setback in bid for treatment

'Elephant Man' Michael Cull
'Elephant Man' Michael Cull

A pensioner dubbed a modern day “Elephant Man” has suffered another setback in his battle against a mystery disease which has made his life a misery.

Michael Cull has endured a decade of pain after his left leg ballooned to more than three stone in weight, leaving him incapable of walking any distance and making him the target of taunts from strangers.

Earlier this year, he accused the medical profession of turning its back on him after being told there was nothing that could be done to help him.

However, after speaking to the Press and Journal about his ordeal, the 66-year-old from Rosehearty was told funding from NHS Grampian had been secured and he could travel to Hull for the operation.

Now, Mr Cull claims he has been told the surgery will not go ahead as planned, and is demanding answers.

“One minute I’m told I’ll get the operation, the next I’m told I won’t,” he said.

“When I went to see the doctor in Hull he said this could be dealt with, what operations I’d require, and was I told I could get treated in late October, early November time.

“The head of NHS Grampian says finance is not the problem, so what is the problem?”

The retired computer technician’s nightmare started following a car accident while he was living in London.

He was later diagnosed as having gross lymphedema.

Despite attempts to halt the growth of his leg with stockings after he moved to Scotland, it continued to swell.

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

It was only after Mr Cull made contact with First Minister Alex Salmond that he was referred to a consultant in Dundee last year.

He diagnosed elephantiasis a disease found in third world countries and said the condition was causing large cysts to form on his kidneys.

However, when Mr Cull visited the London Hospital of Tropical Diseases earlier this year, blood tests failed to find any signs of the parasite that is the most common cause of the condition.

Mr Cull said his leg now weighs about three stone and he has difficulty finding trousers that fit.

He said he rarely left his home in Rosehearty because he was in so much discomfort, and when he did he was often the butt of “Elephant Man” jokes in the street.

A spokesman for Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust said she was unable to comment.

An NHS Grampian spokeswoman said: “If any patient is uncertain or has any concerns about their referral, they should take it up with their GP.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in