Thursday, 24 Sep 2020

Dad cut his toe on Jet2 holiday to Kos before having half of his leg amputated

A dream Jet2 holiday turned into a nightmare after a Scottish dad's minor accident ended up in an amputation.

Ian Robertson, 69, sliced around two inches of skin off his toe after stepping on uneven tiling in a hotel room in Kos, Greece, last August.

It was only the second night of a stay in the Aegean View Aqua Resort with his wife, Margaret, 53, as well as their three daughters and three granddaughters.

Ian didn't even notice the cut until he saw a pool of blood, and Margaret, a critical care support worker, contacted the resort’s 24/7 medical team for help.

But they were shocked to learn Ian would not be seen until Monday morning because it was the weekend and nearby Medicare was also closed.

Margaret was given iodine and bandages by reception and dressed the wound before the following day the family went to a pharmacy.

The couple claim the resort had 24/7 medical care advertised and they spoke to a rep from Jet2 the following day, but heard nothing more.

When Ian saw a doctor from Medicare on Monday morning he was shocked to learn it had been opened all weekend – and now wonders if he had got treatment sooner, if his leg could have been saved.

The family rented a car so they could travel to Medicare every two days, and Ian saw his GP as soon as he arrived back in the UK on September 11, and was referred to the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh.

His foot had turned black and yellow, and soon gangrene began to set in.

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On January 23, Ian had part of his leg amputated below the knee as he could not face the prospect of medical appointments and interventions which would work for the short-term.

He is now in good spirits again and looking forward to being able to use a prosthetic after suffering months of depression due to his limited mobility and pain.

Grandfather-of-three Ian said: "My whole outlook has changed, I have learnt patience in the past six months.

"We will never know if I had been treated in hospital that night, if it would be different, but I can blame the hotel, because they delayed it.

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"The information they gave me was incorrect.

"At one stage I thought maybe I'd picked up that flesh eating disease.

"We were told 'it's Friday night you will have to wait until Monday', and my wife asked where the hospital was but we were told 'you will have to go to Medicare but they aren't open at the weekend'.

"We didn't realise how seriously bad it was and the receptionist gave us bandages and iodine.

"When I went to Medicare on the Monday, they said 'why didn't you come on Friday' and when I told him, the doctor said 'that's appalling'.

"The big flap of skin was all there and he cut the two-inch bit of skin off."

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The support worker had been looking forward to splashing around in the pool with his granddaughters, but was unable to do so due to the dressings.

Ian said: "It kind of ruined the holiday."

But when he got back home to Carrington, Midlothian, Ian faced months of hospital appointments and operations including attempts to boost the blood circulation in his leg, which were unsuccessful.

He will never be able to drive a manual car again and is not eligible for disability benefits due to his age – something he feels passionately is wrong and hopes to change.

Despite the life-changing injury Ian says he feels "brand new" and is looking on the bright side.

Ian said: "I told the surgeon 'take it off, I'm not interested in coming back here in six months or a year'.

"When I woke up, I didn't even notice it had gone.

"My whole life has changed, it was like a weight had lifted.

"I felt like a different person, brand new."

He had been able to spend Christmas with his family after being an inpatient, but after returning to hospital it was found that an infection had spread from his foot to his leg.

Ian found the optimistic attitude of another patient who had already had an amputation was inspiring, and had been told the man felt he had got his life back.

So he decided to push for an amputation, although medics had told him they hoped to save his leg.

He had already been through an androplast – a procedure to boost blood flow – which had not worked, and did not want to face trying again.

Ian now plans to campaign for better rights for disabled people to claim benefits once he has got more mobility back.

And friends are organising a fundraiser to help him with the additional costs the family faces.

Ian said: "I was a wee bit embarrassed about it but now I'm humbled by it.

"People who are disabled after retirement age get no help whatsoever."

A Jet2 spokesperson told Daily Star Online: “We are extremely sorry to hear about Mr Robertson’s experience. As a formal investigation is continuing it would be inappropriate for us to make any further comment at this stage.”

Friends of Ian have set up a fundraiser to help him with his rehabilitation – you can donate here.

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