Man who paid to have his leg cut off says it's the best decision he’s ever made

Man who paid to have his leg cut off says it's the best decision he’s ever made

For most people, having a limb amputated would feel like something from a nightmare. But for cricketer Rob Franks, it was "the best decision of his life." In fact, he even paid £15,000 ($19K) to have the leg removed. Now, despite this setback, he's back on sports pitch again and has boasted an excellent season on the cricket field, even managing to score his highest ever batting average. Why did he pay to amputate his own limb, you ask? Allow me to enlighten you: Rob's story is a complicated one.

The trouble began when Rob was hospitalised after sustaining a sports injury. There, doctors discovered a five-inch tumour growing above his left knee. Two possibly-malignant growths were removed from his knee over the course of a year, and Rob's cancer went into remission. However, the surgery had critically weakened his knee, and while playing a game of cricket, he took a swing with his bat and his leg promptly “snapped in half."

Cricketer Rob Franks and his family. Credit: Press Association

Rob was left in agony, and the bone couldn't heal on its own, despite a number of surgeries. On painkillers to manage the chronic pain, and depressed because he was immobile and unable to play with his kids, Rob decided that it would be better to have the leg taken off. He had to pay for the surgery, since the British National Health Service couldn't provide him with the procedure, and so he set up a  fundraising page called “Get Rob Legless" to raise the cash.

In a recent interview, Rob stated: "I was out playing cricket a week after receiving my sports prosthesis. I then saw my doctor, and he was scratching his head saying, ‘How have you managed that? You should be in bed recovering.' I feel like I can do anything now. It was the best decision of my life having my leg amputated. I’m chirpy, I’m full of life and most importantly I’m happy, which I haven’t been in a long time."

"I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t move properly and always I was thinking about the horrendous pain I was living with. What was horrible was that I couldn’t play with my kids. They would want to go out and kick a football around and I just couldn’t be there for them ... It occurred to me that I could have my leg amputated. From then on, it was all I wanted. That might sound strange, but you have to understand how much pain I was in."

Cricketer Rob Franks after his leg was amputated. Credit: Press Association

"You would have thought that waking up without a leg would be pretty awful, but actually it felt great because for the first time in a long time I wasn’t in pain. It just feels so much better now because I’m not in pain any more. I feel freer. My life was ruled by pain. Now I feel like I’ve got it back again."

Rob now feels as though he has a new lease on life, and is even nimble enough to coach sports on his prosthetic. It's good to know that this story has a happy ending, huh?