Alice to the res­cue!

When her fella lost his leg, their lit­tle girl got busy with the bricks. lianne Cronin, 31, from Old­bury, shares a tale of love and lego

Pick Me Up! - - CONTENTS -

Pulling off his shoes af­ter a shop­ping trip, my hus­band Marc, 30, gri­maced. ‘I’ve got a nasty blis­ter,’ he said. ‘Can’t feel a thing, though.’

Marc had di­a­betes and feel­ing numb to wounds was one of the com­mon problems.

But three months later, in Novem­ber 2014, the blis­ter on his left foot was in­fected. Badly.

Sur­geons re­moved three toes and the ball of his left foot in an emer­gency bid to save his leg.

When the ban­dage was re­moved, his face fell.

‘It’s so ugly!’ he gasped. ‘Looks like a Mon­ster Munch.’

He wasn’t wrong, but at least he still had a foot...

‘Let’s wait for it to heal,’ I soothed.

I quit my job in re­tail man­age­ment to look af­ter him.

Putting up the Christ­mas dec­o­ra­tions that year,

I didn’t feel very fes­tive.

But for the sake of our daugh­ter Alice, 4, I got on with things, buy­ing her lots of presents, wrap­ping them and plac­ing them un­der our twin­kling tree.

Marc was gut­ted not to be able to take her to Santa’s Grotto like be­fore.

Come Christ­mas morn­ing, Alice squealed, un­wrap­ping boxes of her favourite toy. Lego!

She spent hours building huge, colour­ful tow­ers around the house.

Mean­while, Marc hob­bled about with a spe­cial boot and crutches, de­ter­mined to get bet­ter.

We qui­etly saw in the new year at home and toasted to a bet­ter 2015 with mugs of tea.

In Jan­uary, Marc had a skin graft from his thigh to help his foot heal, but it failed.

Only able to put pres­sure on the out­side of his foot, the mus­cles in Marc’s an­kle had weak­ened.

He strug­gled to walk, and couldn’t bear to look at his foot any more – the very sight of it mak­ing him sad.

‘What have I been left with?’ he cried.

‘It’s OK, love,’ I com­forted.

Yet things were any­thing but.

Self-con­scious, Marc stopped go­ing out. Cut him­self off from friends. He’d been forced to quit his ware­house job, felt aim­less.

And he was un­able to help with Alice’s nurs­ery runs.

So, when doc­tors sug­gested

a pro­ce­dure to fix nerve dam­age in his foot and give him back his mo­bil­ity, we were thrilled.

But there was a snag. It only had a 50/50 chance of suc­cess.

If it failed, the sur­geon would have to am­pu­tate Marc’s leg from the knee down.

For the next few months, Marc and I de­lib­er­ated.

‘What­ever you de­cide, we’ll man­age,’ I said.

I only wanted Marc to be happy again.

Over the next few weeks, he even posted polls on Face­book ask­ing friends their opin­ion. Fi­nally, he made a decision. He wanted to skip straight to the am­pu­ta­tion.

With phys­io­ther­apy and a pros­thetic, it was a given he’d get back on his feet. Al­beit, with one fake one… Count­ing down the weeks to the op in June 2016, we were strangely ex­cited.

‘Daddy’s go­ing to hos­pi­tal,’ I told Alice. ‘Half his leg will be gone, but he’ll be bet­ter.’ ‘Re­ally?!’ she asked, wide-eyed. Marc’s surgery took place at the Royal Or­thopaedic Hos­pi­tal in Birm­ing­ham, and the next day I took Alice there.

‘How’s your foot, Daddy?’ she asked.

‘It’s gone!’ he laughed. He lifted the sheet, showed the space left be­hind and her eye­brows shot up.

It would be a few months be­fore he could be fit­ted for a pros­thetic.

Weeks later, Alice prod­ded his stump, look­ing at the neat scar.

‘I’ve got an idea!’ she said, march­ing up­stairs to grab a box. Then she tipped the con­tents over the car­pet.

‘What are we do­ing with all that Lego?’ Marc quizzed.

‘Building you a new leg!’ Alice an­nounced.

We couldn’t help but laugh as Alice care­fully mea­sured Marc’s limb.

We joined in, guid­ing her with the build, work­ing around the stump.

‘Ta-da!’ Alice squealed 90 min­utes later.

‘I love it!’ Marc laughed, hold­ing it in place.

Marc posted the pic­ture on Face­book, then shared it on the web­site Red­dit.

Hun­dreds of peo­ple praised his at­ti­tude and sense of hu­mour.

You’re an in­spi­ra­tion!

We were baf­fled by the in­ter­est – but ev­ery­one was so nice, we couldn’t com­plain.

When Marc fi­nally got his real pros­thetic, he took it off ev­ery 20 min­utes till he got used to it.

By June 2017, he was do­ing much bet­ter, even join­ing West Bromwich Al­bion’s am­putee foot­ball team.

Now, he talks at schools about di­a­betes.

Marc has a blis­ter on his right foot now. There’s a chance he could lose that leg, too...but we hope it won’t come to that.

If it does, we’ll be OK. We got through it once and we’ll build our­selves up again.

Brick by brick!

Me and Alice: here for Marc

The bright­est pros­thetic ever!

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