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Page last updated at 05:24 GMT, Monday, 30 June 2008 06:24 UK
'MRSA nearly killed me'
By Nell Jordan-Gent
Newsbeat reporter

Twenty-four-year-old James Wollacott caught the hospital superbug MRSA in an NHS hospital five years ago, after being treated for a knee injury.

Today he's stil recovering from the the infection and has great difficulty doing everyday activities. James has given Newsbeat an insight into how it feels to be struck down by the disease.

James Wollacott

It all started when I was in my back garden on a trampoline of all things. I jumped up and down and my knee just popped.

I went straight to hospital and found out my knee was dislocated so they snapped it back into place.

Everything was fine apart from the fact I didn't have a pulse in my foot which meant the artery had gone behind my knee.

I got transferred to another hospital and they fixed the artery and everything was fine.

A week or so later the hospital tried to repair my knee and I caught MRSA during the repair.

At the time I thought I'd be in hospital for a couple of days to be honest because I thought I'd just dislocated my knee. But because of the artery, it was obviously a lot worse.

I still thought I'd be there for a week or so but never three months, definitely not.

'Bad way'

MRSA nearly killed me twice, it put me in a very bad way.

I was never told when I had it. I was only told after when I got out, that a team of doctors were waiting for me to die.

They called my mum at two or three in the morning and said, 'I think you had better come and see him, he's going to go'.

They made quick time up there to find a team of doctors and it was alright in the end.

But I didn't know what was going on, I was out of it. I could remember where I was and how I felt, but I didn't know about the doctors so it wasn't that scary to me.

James Wollacott
James Wollacott has had constant surgery over the last five years
I used to be a maintenance engineer and I did what every young bloke did.

I used to go to work and banter, enjoy drinks after work and play hockey and football. I was always active.

After I did my knee in I tried to go to hospital to get my electrics qualification but I couldn't stand up and do any work.

'Stopped dead'

It's stopped me dead to be honest. I want to get back to work, I need to get back to work to get my life back on track but as it is I can't do that.

What I can't believe is that I did my knee in on something as simple as jumping up and down on a trampoline.

I thought I'd do my knee in playing football, hockey, doing something dangerous but I didn't even fall off the trampoline.

I'm fed up of surgery now. I've had enough of it but I've got to have it done to try and get my knee to stabilise.

I've had my knee repaired countless times, I've had my ankle bone cut and re-screwed on to stabilise my ankle.

I've had my Achilles tendons stretched and I've had a clear out of my ankle because it tended to lock.

Steam clean

It's difficult for the people working in the hospital because they have got so many people to look after.

I don't know how to run a hospital but having it clean is one important thing and having a matron.

If it is just a case of cleanliness to keep the infection down then that shouldn't be a problem. They should steam clean rooms one by one or shut down the hospitals and clean them if they have to.

I did take things for granted. I'd love to be able to run about now or jump, just stupid little things you don't appreciate I'd just love to do.

I can't run, I can't jump, I can't twist so that's a lot of sports out of the window straight away.

But I have a close group of mates around the house now who are always about. My mum and dad have been outstanding too.

But I'd much prefer to be off on my own, doing my own thing.


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