Chinese Man Saws Off His Own Leg After He Couldn’t Afford Hospital Bills To Treat Rare Infection

on October 11 2013 5:52 PM

A Chinese man sawed off his own right leg because he couldn’t afford to have the diseased limb either treated or amputated at a hospital. Zheng Yanliang, 47, began suffering severe abdominal pain that eventually spread to his legs, according to the Mail Online. Zheng was eventually diagnosed with arterial thrombosis -- a condition characterized by the formation of a blood clot or clots in an artery or arteries -- in both his legs.

With all the arteries in his right leg gone, Zheng was told by doctors he didn’t have more than a month left to live. However, he managed to hang on for three months, living in constant pain. “It was very painful, and they gave me medication, but it didn’t help,” the Mail Online quoted Zheng as saying.

Zheng visited several different hospitals in Beijing and Hebei, only to be sent back with more medicine to his farm in Dongzang village, which is in Qingyuan county in Zhejiang province.

“Sometimes the pain was so intense, I would pass out, then after three months when it was really bad, they told me that an infection had set in, that I had gangrene and that I might lose the limb,” Zheng said. “Ideally, I needed it to be operated on, but I could not afford it. They just gave me medication. They sent me home to die.”

Faced with no other option, Zheng placed a wooden back scratcher between his teeth and went to work on his leg using a hacksaw and a fruit knife. “I had a wooden back scratcher, I wrapped a towel around it, and bit on it so I did not scream and wake my wife, then I used the knife to slice the skin and pull it back so I could see the bone,” he said. “Then I used the saw to slice through the bone after putting a belt around the leg to stop the blood flow.”

The Mail Online reported the saw broke in half due to excessive force, and Zheng lost four teeth during the makeshift amputation because he was biting the back scratcher so hard.

Unfortunately, Zheng has developed the same condition in his left leg. He will lose his left foot, and he might lose his entire left leg if he doesn’t get an operation.

According to the Mail Online, Zheng’s wife -- who suffers from diabetes and heart disease -- is left to tend to the family farm. Their 17-year-old daughter was forced to quit school and get a job to support the family.

However, a doctor named Zhang Qiang in Shanghai has offered to step in and cover the costs of treatment, Sky News reported. “My medical colleagues and I will provide him with free medical services,” he said.

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