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Peter's story - don't let lymphoedema go undiagnosed

Today we meet another inspirational lymphoedema patient, *Peter.

Peter, 32 from Whitley Bay, had been living with undiagnosed lymphoedema in his legs for years, and like many others, believing that his legs were simply ‘fat’. After developing a leg infection, he was rushed to A&E, where he was diagnosed with lymphoedema and referred to our Lymphoedema Clinic.

Six years on, Peter has his lymphoedema under control, continues to be supported by out Lymphoedema Clinic and attends an intensive bootcamp, where he is away from home a month at a time.

Peter tells us more:

“I’ve always been overweight but after a trip to A&E with a severe leg infection, I was diagnosed with lymphoedema in my legs. I was referred to St Oswald’s Hospice who bandaged my legs using compression garments and lost two stone very quickly, which was mainly fluid from my legs.

“Before being diagnosed with the condition, I had never heard of lymphoedema and was told that I was one of the worst cases of lymphoedema the Hospice had seen. Over the years staff at St Oswald’s have continued to motivate and encourage me to lose weight, which first began with a Tripudio exercise class that the Hospice run which is designed for people with lymphoedema. The movements were easy for me to do at home, and after that I knew I needed to do something about my weight.”

Talking in more detail about his weight loss, Peter continued:

“When I was first diagnosed with lymphoedema I was 43 and a half stone. I owned a shop and was just eating rubbish all day. I knew I had to do something to improve my health, which is when I signed up to the bootcamp. The bootcamp is an intense programme where I am away for four weeks and at home for one week, taking part in six hours of exercise a day.

“I’m now 30 stone, which at first was my goal weight, but now I want to lose another 10 stone. I have even lost over 10 inches on each of my legs. As I still go to the Hospice every six months, they have been helpful in fitting me with new garments.”

*Patient name has been changed