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Desperate dad with ‘bad cold’ left begging doctors to amputate both of his legs

A dad dismissed his symptoms as just a common cold but was later diagnosed with deadly sepsis – resulting in his legs being amputated.

Mathew James Hicks, from Turriff in Aberdeenshire, became unwell in March and developed a fever, which he took some paracetamol to manage.

But wife Rachael raised the alarm when the 34-year-old started showing odd symptoms, including confusion.

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Rachael called an ambulance, and Mathew was rushed to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where he was diagnosed with sepsis, Strep A, and pneumonia in his right lung.

Doctors discovered his organs had already begun to shut down and they were forced to place Mathew in a medically induced coma.

Two weeks later, when he awoke, doctors delivered a devastating blow. The blood supply to his feet was no longer functioning and would need amputation below the knew.

Mathew told the Daily Record: "I didn’t really understand what was happening when I was told about my amputation because I hadn’t seen my feet.

"I just accepted what the consultant told me, but once I did eventually see the grey colour they had gone I was completely shocked. Then I was desperate to have them removed."

Recalling the shock of her husband's serious illness, Mathew's wife Rachel, 36, said: "He was taken straight to ICU and I was told he was critically ill.

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"Mathew is usually fit and healthy. He had only been complaining about a bad cold and a high temperature but the paracetamol was helping so we both thought he was ok.

"I just couldn't believe how serious it was. The doctors put him in a coma.

"I was told there had been no improvement and that as a last resort, they were going to use a machine called an ECMO to help keep him alive."

The mum-of-one said the doctor was 'painfully honest' and told the family if the ECMO machine didn't help stabilise Mathew's organs, there were no options left.

Rachael continued: "We sat in silence and disbelief. We were so relieved when we were told Matthew had pulled through but then we were given more bad news about the amputation.

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"Not for one minute did I think things would turn out this way?"

Evie, three, was unable to see her daddy for seven weeks, which Rachael said was the hardest thing throughout it all.

She added: "Evie is such a daddy's girl. Now she calls him her superhero."

Mathew was discharged from the hospital earlier this week after 12 weeks of recovery.

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He has also developed a rare heart condition as a result of the severe sepsis which has caused his heart to function at only 34%. Doctors say only time will tell what effect it will have.

The family said they know they have a tough road ahead of them whilst Mathew adapts to a new way of life, but are hopeful for the future.

Mathew added: "My outlook on life has definitely changed. Prior to my illness, I would work as much as possible, but now I realise that work is not everything and I plan to spend more time enjoying life and spending more time with my family."

A fundraiser has now been set up to help the family's garden accessible for Mathew, almost £16,000 has been raised and the family say they are overwhelmed with the support they have received.

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