This is Shaun's story
Shaun, a 53 year old electrician, picked up a mosquito bite when travelling in Namibia which changed his life dramatically.
Shaun is an electrician who mainly works overseas on Government and Diplomatic buildings. In 2019 he started a 6 month contract travelling to Dubai, India and Namibia.
"When I arrived in Thailand, it had got really bad. I’d had a leg ulcer before so I knew what one looked like and could see that that’s what my bite had turned into. I always carried compression stockings with me because of the previous leg ulcer. I put two of them on to try and stop this ulcer getting any bigger but it just kept growing until it had spread all across the back of my leg. I knew I had to get back to the UK straight away.”
When Shaun landed back in the UK he immediately referred himself to a specialist leg ulcer clinic in London. It was while in treatment at the clinic that Shaun was diagnosed with suspected pyoderma gangrenosum – an inflammatory skin condition that can be triggered by an insect bite.
"I ended up living on people’s sofas and eventually ended up living in my car. I was in so much pain that I could barely sleep. I can understand how people are pushed to the verge of suicide by these things.”
Shaun’s ambition is to get his mobility back and start working again. He wants people to understand just how bad a leg ulcer can be and to take their leg health much more seriously.
"People don’t realise the complexity of a leg ulcer. When you get an ulcer, all these other things start to go wrong on top of it. I’ve got problems with my lower back now because of the walking with a stick and I’ve put on weight because of the steroids. I can’t walk more than 200 metres without having to rest. It just spirals out of control.”
Read Shaun's story in full on the Legs Matter site.
Visit our common conditions section to view some of the early signs and symptoms to look out for.
If you think that you have any of the signs and symptoms of venous disease, its important that you do something as early as possible to prevent the condition from getting worse. You should contact your GP for advice and next steps in managing your leg health.