| Last updated
A man says his wife refused to sleep in the same bed as him because his toes keep falling off.
He was really unwell, and had to spend 10 days in an induced coma, with doctors working tirelessly to keep him from dying.
He did survive, but he is still suffering with the effects years later, and his toes have turned black and started to fall off one-by-one due to poor circulation.
Simon, from Bridgend, explained: "My wife refused to sleep in the same bed as me as she didn't want to wake up with a detached toe beside her.
"Some have come off in my hand while applying antiseptic lotions, some in bed and, by far the worst, some have come off in the shower. Can you imagine putting your socks on in the morning and thinking 'I'm sure that toe was there last night?'."
Describing the onset of his illness, Simon said: "I woke up one morning and I felt like I had the flu. My wife came home in the afternoon from work and found me virtually unconscious on the bed in the spare room."
He admits he can only remember 'bits and pieces' of the ordeal from that point, including being put into an ambulance and getting told by staff they'd need to put him into a medically induced coma.
Simon continued: "It still amazes me how little I can remember.
"[Upon reawakening] I remember looking down at my toes and wondering why someone had put black finger bobs on them.
"At some point when I was in a coma my blood pressure dropped and they gave me [medication] to increase it rapidly again.
"But in doing so it pushed blood towards the organs while starving the extremities - it's basically like suffering frostbite.
"The soles and heels of my feet came off all bar an inner layer of soft skin, my fingers peeled, my nose peeled, but luckily it was just my toes which got it really badly."
After the initial ordeal, Simon set his sights on walking once again. However, after four months his first toe fell off.
He went on: "The actual falling off bit was not painful. I used to have a shower every day and then spray all my toes with antiseptic to try and stop any infections. The toe came off as I was rubbing it with Germolene.
"It was a shock more than anything else. Even though my toes were in a terrible state I still wasn't expecting it to happen."
The last toe fell off in December 2019.
The worst problem since then has been the isolation. The Covid-19 pandemic even put a halt to surgery that he was due to undergo. That's been a huge blow for him.
He explained: "Given the hue and cry about the possible psychological effects caused by nearly a year of lockdown what do you think are the psychological effects of nearly three years of the same on someone who would previously think nothing of walking 15 miles around the Brecon Beacons and who is now exhausted by walking a few hundred yards?
"There are times where I wish I hadn't come out of the coma."
Greg Dix, director of nursing, midwifery and patient care for Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, said: "While we can't comment on individual cases we are sorry if anyone has felt let down by the care or level of support received by our health board.
"As with all NHS organisations the pandemic has created unprecedented issues for our organisation and has required some very difficult decisions to be made.
"These include pausing or limiting many services in the interests of patient and staff safety and focusing resources on responding to Covid-19 and patients who need the most urgent care."
"We recognise that postponing treatments is upsetting for patients and this is never something we do lightly. However patient care and safety has always remained of the utmost importance in making these decisions.
"Our teams are continuing to work really hard to provide this urgent care to our patients during these unprecedented times. We are also looking at ways we can provide alternative support to patients waiting for elective treatment to help them manage their conditions and we would encourage anyone who has any concerns or worries to contact us so we can discuss their care with them."
Chosen for YouChosen for You
Most Read StoriesMost Read