Irish woman in chronic pain tries to amputate her own finger with an axe

Megan Cullen
Megan Cullen

A woman who attempted to amputate her own finger after she injured it slamming it in a car door said the 'pain drove her to it'.

Megan Cullen (22), from Bantry in Cork, used an axe in her attempt to stop the pain which she had experienced for the past four years of her life.

"Your mind is saying 'yes, go for it, do it' but your body is saying 'no, please don't hurt me'," she told, describing her attempts to self-operate.

Megan slammed her finger in a car door four years ago and has suffered chronic pain in her index finger since then.

She described the pain as "like a cramp in your leg that you think is going to pass, but it never ever goes away."

Three months after the car door incident Megan went to doctors who told her to take pain killers and give it time to heal.

"They kept telling me it will get better, but there was no let up in the pain whatsoever," she told RTE's Liveline.

"I can't dress myself, if I bend my finger the skin starts to split with the pressure.

"If I accidentally bang it I'm on the floor in tears.

"I just got to the point where I knew I couldn't deal with it anymore," she said.

Megan saw a specialist last November who performed an operation and inserted a bar into her finger to speed up its healing process.

"When I realised that it [the operation] hadn't worked I was so devastated, and I knew there was only one thing for it - I had to take an axe to it.

"At least then there would be an end result, the pain would be gone.

"The pain drove me to it," she said.

Megan attempted to amputate her finger but hit the metal bar that had been inserted inside her finger, and was unsuccessful in severing her finger.

"The doctor at A&E gave out to me in a nice way.

"He did say that he could understand how I was driven to it," Megan said.

"My life is at a standstill, I can't go out at night, I can't work full time," she added.

Megan said that she is set to undergo another operation and is 'desperate' to find an end to the suffering she is currently in.

Sarah Jane Murphy