Norfolk diabetic family thank hospital for care after amputations

A Norfolk man who watched as surgeons amputated both of his legs has praised a hospital ward's staff for the fantastic care he and his family have received.

Douglas Tuttle and his mother and sister all have diabetes, which can lead to damaged nerves, numbness, ulcers and eventually, if the wounds fail to heal, to amputation. All three have had to have amputations at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, and all three have spent time in recovery on Docking Ward, which they cannot praise highly enough.

Mr Tuttle, 47, first developed a problem with one of his feet in 2001 after stepping on a nail while working as a machine operator for a demolition company.

The wound refused to heal and he ended up having to have toes removed. By 2007, it had got so bad that his left leg had to be amputated and the Langley man was given an epidural, instead of having the surgery conducted under full general anaesthetic, and watched as the surgeons removed the limb. He said: 'It was fascinating to see. The surgeons have operated on me in the past, and you couldn't want for a better team of surgeons. They fought like hell to save my leg.'

Just over a week ago, Mr Tuttle had to have his remaining right leg removed, and said he had found it difficult to come to terms with losing both, but having the same team look after him this time around had been a great reassurance to him.

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He said: 'I'm feeling a lot better since I have had the leg off, but how I'm going to get on at home I don't know. Thanks to the surgeons' skill I'm still alive today, but it's also the nurses on the ward that make such a difference. The staff on Docking Ward have been fantastic.'

Mr Tuttle's sister Beverley Armstrong, 47, from Hales, also has diabetes and had to have toes removed last June.

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The siblings' mum Averil Browne, 71, also from Hales, spent three months on the same ward at the end of last year, and ended up having to have part of her toe removed. Mrs Browne said: 'I don't think people realise how serious diabetes can be.'

Deputy sister Joanna Wright said it was nice to hear that patients were pleased with their care. She said: 'All the team work really hard. It's a busy ward and they all put in 110 per cent.'

Do you have a health story for us? Call Kim Briscoe on 01603 772419 or email

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