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Brighton woman's feet crushed by doctors to treat disease she didn't have
A Brighton woman is pleading for help after suffering with a mystery illness for more than two decades.
Michelle Trueman, 38, takes up to 80mg of morphine a day to deal with severe pain in her legs that has left her unable to walk unaided.
She was initially diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT) – a group of conditions which damage nerves outside the brain and spine that cause muscle weakness, an awkward walk, curled toes, numbness and chronic pain.
It’s one of the most common conditions to target the peripheral nerves and affects around 23,000 people in the UK.
Miss Trueman said surgeons at Royal Sussex County Hospital (RSCH) in Brighton crushed and reconstructed her feet in an attempt to help her pain, but without success.
She claims she was then told by doctors at the hospital that she did not have CMT.
Miss Trueman said: “Since surgery for CMT I’ve since been told I don’t have the disease and I now fear I have had my feet crushed and went through all this pain for nothing.
“They don’t know what was wrong with me. I’m constantly throwing up as a result of the morphine and I have severe bowl problems too.
“I live everyday in fear of ending up in a wheelchair and doctors can’t give me an answer. My condition is getting worse each day.
“I’m scared and I’m so desperate now.”
Miss Trueman, who lives in Moulsecoombe Way with her 13-year-old carer and son, added: “I don’t know who to turn to anymore.
“I need help and answers. I can’t go on anymore like this.”
Karen Butcher, chief executive of the charity CMT UK, said it wasn’t uncommon for people to be misdiagnosed with the disease.
She said: “It works the other way too. Sometimes people are told they have other things but it turns out they have CMT.
“It affects all type of people, even if there’s no family history of it. I sympathise with Miss Trueman because CMT and other conditions can be severe.
"I’d suggest if she’s had no luck with local neurologists to perhaps visit the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London. It’s the centre of excellence for neurology in the UK.”
A spokesman from Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust said it couldn’t discuss individual patient information due to confidentiality, but it had arranged to call Miss Trueman directly to discuss her issues.
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