A FED-UP mum of four is having her two broken feet treated at two different hospitals.
Bemused Julie Elvin cannot understand why medics at either of the sites cannot treat both feet.
The 46-year-old told the Mail: “It is absolutely mad.”
Since October 2010 Mrs Elvin has endured eight visits to the University Hospital of Hartlepool, three to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough and one to the University Hospital of North Tees in Stockton.
Her left foot is being treatged at the Stockton hospital and her right at Middlesbrough.
Mrs Elvin faces a visit to the James Cook hospital today and one to Stockton on August 26.
The Clavering area mum is having to rely on friends and family to get to appointments at hospitals which are 10 miles apart – and 19 miles from her Hartlepool home.
During treatment she has racked up hefty taxi fares.
Julie, who is also battling to keep running her own town floristry business, admitted: “I am trying to be upbeat, but it is difficult.
“There are times when I am sitting in floods of tears.”
Her foot problems began last October when her right foot began to hurt and became swollen. At that time, she was dealing with hospital staff in Hartlepool.
Julie, 46, said: “I went for an X-ray at the University Hospital of Hartlepool A and E department and they said nothing was wrong. I hobbled through Christmas and went back in the February. They got me another X-ray and said they could not find anything wrong with it.
“I went to see my GP who sent me to a foot and ankle specialist at James Cook.”
In the meantime, though, Julie’s left foot developed problems. She went to the University Hospital of Hartlepool again.
“They would not do an X-ray and I came out quite upset with two feet that were quite painful – and no answers,” said Julie.
Two weeks later, more problems arose in her left foot after she tried to catch a bus near her home.
“I felt a snap in it,” said Julie who went back to the University Hospital of Hartlepool again.
She said: “They were saying you have had an X-ray and I was saying ‘this is the other foot. I have a left one and a right one’.”
Julie was given another X-ray which showed two fractures of the left foot. One which had just happened and one which was two weeks old, she said.
“They put it in a pot for 24 weeks and then I went to James Cook for the appointment on the right foot.
Experts at James Cook did an X-ray which showed a large fracture of the bone running from Julie’s leg to her right foot.
But Julie added: “They said they could not put that foot in a pot because my left foot already was, so I ended up in a wheelchair for six weeks.”
Finally, Julie’s left foot was taken out of plaster – but only so she could have a pot put on her right one at James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.
But the problems with both feet are still no nearer ending.
Explaining why she is still being treated at two hospitals, Julie said: “The people at James Cook have said they would be happy to hand over to North Tees.
“But North Tees say they won’t interfere with other hospitals.”
Julie has suffered for years from two serious medical conditions called syringomeliais and chiari malformation.
Syringomeliais is a disorder of the spine which expands, elongates and destroys a portion of the spinal cord. It injures the nerve fibres that carry information from the brain.
Chiari malformation is where the bottom of the brain descends out of the skull and crowds the spinal cord.
A spokesperson from North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust said: “We would welcome the opportunity to discuss Mrs Elvin’s concerns with her if she would like to get in touch through our patient advice and liaison service.”
A spokeswoman for South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said: “If a patient is referred to us by a GP we will treat them accordingly.”