A VISIT to a physiotherapist to treat an injured ankle ended up saving a man’s life.

Richard Donovan had no idea his badly bruised and twisted ankle had let to him developing blood clots.

However Elle Phillips, who owns the Studio57 clinic in Hove, spotted something was not quite right with the leg and urged Mr Donovan to see his GP immediately.

Mr Donovan, 67, from Hove, said: “I had been visiting the Isle of Wight in April when I fell down some steps.

“When I got back I was still hobbling around so I decided to visit the physiotherapist.

“She was concerned about water retention and how the leg looked.

“I was feeling a bit blase about it all because the ankle was starting to feel better but she was very clear I should see a doctor as a matter of urgency.”

Blood tests and checks revealed the bruising on Mr Donovan’s ankle had led to him developing two blood clots which were in his lungs and he needed emergency treatment at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton.

Mr Donovan was given medication to thin his blood and is still being closely monitored but is able to continue to do his favourite activities of walking and cycling.

He said: “I went back to see Elle and thank her. I’m very grateful as I did not have a clue there was a problem. She has pretty much saved my life.”

Mrs Phillips, who started the clinic in Ellen Street 15 years ago, said: “I was shocked to hear that Richard had indeed been to the doctor, as advised, and after his bloods were taken he was rushed to hospital for a full body MRI.

“They found two large blood clots in his left lung. When Richard told me this I nearly burst in to tears and told him he had been incredibly lucky.

“If the clots had worked their way to his heart it could have been fatal.

“I was overwhelmingly relieved and happy in equal amounts.

“I was so very glad Richard had gone to the doctor as some people would not heed that advice and think they were fine.

“It is imperative to be on your game with patients and be aware of any yellow or red flags that alert us to more serious issues.”