Tuesday, 2 Jun 2020

Boy, 15, paralysed after having two ingrown toenails removed

A teenager has been left in a wheelchair after suffering from two ingrown toenails.

Andrew Penney, 15, was left in agony and unable to walk when he had the toenails removed in October 2018.

The teenager could not put his feet on the ground as the operation had caused CRPS [Complex Regional Pain Syndrome] and allodynia, meaning he couldn’t bear any touch to the skin without suffering from severe pain.

Andrew loved sport and would regularly play golf, cricket, tennis and was the captain of the school table tennis team. 

He was looking forward to trialling for the country cricket team and county level golf before his injury.

Mum, Linda Penney, 52, from Alresford, Winchester, said: ‘Following that operation, Andrew was in incredible pain. 

‘He has always had sensitive feet and no one could understand why or how much pain he was in. 

‘Paracetamol wouldn’t work and it got to a point where he was hitting his head on the wall out of frustration.

‘He was passed from consultant to consultant; no one seemed to know what to do. 

‘His feet were swelling, they were multi-coloured and he couldn’t bear weight on his right foot at all. Eventually, he was diagnosed with CRPS.’

In March 2019, after a series of tests in Southampton Hospital, they started to get the help they needed, Linda said.

She added Andrew’s pain was taken seriously and he felt people were finally starting to understand how he felt. 

Linda is still battling to get answers about her son’s extreme pain and she said she had no other choice other than to buy him a wheelchair.

She added: ‘The doctors have done tests to say there is no physical reason why he can’t walk. He’s had an MRI scan but no one knows why this has happened.

‘I did a lot of research to find out what had happened. I found out that Andrew’s memory loss was due to dissociative amnesia which displays itself as PTSD.

‘PTSD has wiped his entire life. He was in such severe pain and was misunderstood which caused his mental health to deteriorate.’

Despite his ordeal, Andrew was recently accepted into the LTA’s National Junior Wheelchair Programme after months of training.

Linda said: ‘But seeing him hit that tennis ball made me realise that he can do this. We went back weekly and he progressed into a tennis wheelchair.

‘His trainer suggested that Andrew should try his first tennis tournament in London. He was extremely anxious about going but he went on to win. I felt very proud but I also felt like a bad parent because I couldn’t help him.

‘I had a ray of hope that he could be someone and it gave Andrew the confidence that he could also do this.’

The family have set up a GoFundMe page for Andrew that can be found here.

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