Fianna Fáil MEP Brian Crowley asked doctors to amputate his legs after undergoing 25 different surgeries in the last two and half years.
The Cork-based MEP had been absent from public view in recent months and explained that debilitating leg sores kept him in hospital for months at a time.
“For the last 33 years, I have been in a wheelchair,” said Mr Crowley. “About two and a half years ago, I started having problems with wounds on my legs that wouldn’t heal and the difficulty was that, because of the paralysis, circulation was bad, the muscle tone was bad, and the skin was getting thinner and thinner.
“I went to the doctor and said: ‘Look what can be done?’ and they made the suggestion of different pieces of surgery. They tried dressings first of all, then different types of dressings, then trying different types of techniques of skin grafting and so on and bed rest and so on.”
Following 25 sets of surgeries, which kept him in hospital for six months at one point, Ireland’s longest- serving MEP reached the stage where he asked doctors to amputate his legs from the knees down.
“I saw this as, if the wounds weren’t healing, it was going to be a problem that this could be a quick solution,” he said. “I was amazed that the reaction they had was absolutely not, and they were adamant that it would only be done where there was no chance of healing or recovery.”
Mr Crowley explained that his logic was that amputation would not affect his life drastically as he was already in a wheelchair.
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