Briton cuts off toe with pliers

Was furious for having to wait for operation

A former British soldier cut off his own toe with pliers after he says he was told he would have to wait weeks for an operation.

Paul Dibbins, 57, was due to have his frostbitten toes removed after they turned gangrenous, however, claims he was told he’d have to wait six weeks for an operation.

“So the father-of-three decided to take matters into his own hands, and remove two toes with pliers in an hour long self-operation in his living room,” Metro newspaper said.

The former army Lance Corporal, who didn’t use any painkillers, says he has since been told he was ‘mad’ by a surgeon but had carried out a ‘textbook’ procedure.

The self-operation saw him scrape off the dead flesh around the toes before cutting through the tendons connecting them to his foot.

The 57-year-old, from Buckfastleigh in Devon, said: ‘I did it because it’s what had to be done, my doctor told me my toes were going to kill me.

‘I’ve had one surgeon say to me it was more luck than judgment but then I had another surgeon saying I was mad but it was textbook.’

Paul said he was originally told he would need his leg removed below the knee after developing frostbite while fixing his son’s car in wintry conditions.

But claims the surgery was called off and he continued to treat his toes for nine months, while seeing a doctor every six weeks, before eventually being told they would need to be removed.

He added: ‘Taking care of myself I could see myself getting better. I could see the more work I did, the better it healed.

‘I took six painkillers in the first week and then none for nine months. I didn’t want to die and didn’t want my leg cut off.’