Intended for healthcare professionals


Great Aunt Rose

BMJ 2000; 321 doi: (Published 29 July 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;321:285
  1. Elizabeth Clarke, paediatric registrar
  1. Singapore

    “You know Betty, they should have just taken my leg off. I was a young woman then, I would have coped with it but not now.”Great Aunt Rose, my grandfather's oldest sister, was talking to my mother while I was eating my sticky iced gingerbread. I was 4 years old and just about the right size to be sitting at eye level with my great aunt's offending leg. I was incredulous. Perhaps it was because grown ups chopping off their legs seemed so bizarre to me that I remembered it for so long.

    Her leg seemed enormous, tightly bound in a thick orange stocking, as it sat propped up on a leather poof. I have no clear …

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