When I Woke Up My Leg Was Gone

Here's a news story that bears an eerie resemblance to the urban legend about the guy who shares a drink with a stranger in a bar and wakes up to find his kidney gone. This news report involves a German professor who goes on holiday to Costa Rica and visits a hospital to have them check out his swollen left foot:

When I got to the hospital they put me on a bed and I heard the word amputate. I tried to protest, but before I knew it they had given me drugs to black me out, and when I woke up I was at the departure lounge. My suitcases were by my side - and then I realised my leg was missing. I couldn't move, and when I checked my wallet I found that £200 had been taken out and replaced with a receipt for the amputation.

Wow! Talk about bad luck. Of course, this story appears on Ananova, so it's anyone's guess whether it's actually true.

Body Manipulation Urban Legends

Posted on Thu Jan 20, 2005


Sounds like Monty Python's Tiger in Africa skit (paraphrased) "I woke up this morning with one sock too many"
Posted by DaveO  on  Thu Jan 20, 2005  at  02:08 AM
It's on Yahoo, too (link from snopes), attributed to 'Press Association'. Anyone know who or what this organization is? I almost gave it default credence due to the (what, accidental?) similarity of name to 'Associated Press'...
Posted by paul in prague  on  Thu Jan 20, 2005  at  03:04 AM
For what it's worth I saw this gentleman on tv
here. Yes, he has a leg stump and looks like a prof.
It could easily be established he is a real person as he is a mathematics professor in Leipzig.
I see no reason why his story shouldn't be true.
See http://www.mdr.de/brisant/1773080.html
Posted by Florian  in  D  on  Thu Jan 20, 2005  at  09:23 AM
"I see no reason why his story shouldn't be true."
-Because it's really WEIRD. Maybe I'm thinking too American, but I can't see someone taking $200 (pounds, whatever) out of someone's wallet & sticking a receipt in its place.

He looks like a prof?? I can stick put scrubs on & sit in a hospital, but it wouldn't make me a doctor.
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Thu Jan 20, 2005  at  10:17 AM
...minus the stick?
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Thu Jan 20, 2005  at  10:18 AM
It's not in the same league, but a friend of mine (not a friend of a friend-- I really know this person and talked to her the same day it happened) almost lost several teeth the same way. Her insurance dropped the dentist she had been using, so she went to a new one. She mentioned that a filling in one of her molars had been bothering her. The next thing she knew, the dentist's assistant was in the room demanding that she pay in advance to have that tooth and the one next to it pulled! No niceties like discussing it with her or getting permission first. If the dentist hadn't been so greedy (wanting his whole fee up front), he might have yanked the first tooth before she could run away.
She got out of there as fast as she could, then went to a competent dentist who put a new filling in the molar and it was as good as new.
Posted by Big Gary C  in  Dallas, Texas  on  Thu Jan 20, 2005  at  08:26 PM
In Costa Rica a local newspaper ran the story citing Ananova and Bild.de as primary sources (Al D
Posted by Francesc Blandino  in  Alajuela, Costa Rica  on  Thu Jan 20, 2005  at  09:24 PM
Where are you sticking those scrubs Maegan? cheese
I just couldn't resist.
Posted by Myst  on  Thu Jan 20, 2005  at  09:31 PM
Just a few years ago a hspital here in the USA amputated the wrong leg of a patient and then had to go back and amputate the correct one, they charged for both. Patient won the lawsuit. Other similar incidents involved people needing surgery and losing a leg or arm due to a mix-up in the instructions to the doctor or whatever they are called. Doctor acted on the information given by the hospital and acted properly on that information. Again, patients won the lawsuits. Other than the unusual collection methods, this sort of thing could happen just about anywhere. However, I do have one question about one aspect that no one else seems to have caught. The hospital rushed the guy out real quick, didn't try to milk him for bed charges, extra medicine, nurse care, etc. Instead of two hundred pounds, they could have billed him for several thousand. Seems a false note in the story.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Fri Jan 21, 2005  at  06:07 PM
The same thing happened to me. They took BOTH of them. I tried to sue, but my lawyer said "I didn't have a leg to stand on". Ba dum Bum
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Fri Jan 21, 2005  at  06:11 PM
Paul in Prague asked about Press Association. It's the British domestic wire agency, owned by the major newspapers.
Posted by Scrib  on  Sat Jan 22, 2005  at  10:53 AM
...Sometimes when a foot is dmgd badly, you may have to amputate up higher than you think...But again, I think this is fake.

And I TRIED to correct my grammer mistake!!
Posted by Maegan  in  Tampa, FL - USA  on  Sun Jan 23, 2005  at  10:39 AM
*singing* I have no leg! *ching ching*

Hey, nobody else said it....
Posted by Barghest  on  Tue Jan 25, 2005  at  11:58 PM
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