Weir in wheelchair after toe amputation

Former education minister Peter Weir has had his toe amputated after neglecting early signs of diabetes.

By The Newsroom
Tuesday, 16th November 2021, 8:20 am

The DUP MLA, who will be in a wheelchair for weeks, has urged people to learn from his experience, which started with a small cut on his toe then spread to an infection.

Speaking on ‘The Nolan Show’, he said: “I had a small cut on my toe. I didn’t think much of it, so I put a plaster on.

“Three days later, there was swelling on the bottom of my foot. I went to minor injuries, they were concerned about the state of the foot.”

A few days later, he went back to minor injuries but there were still “not happy” about the foot so they sent him to the Ulster Hospital, where he was told he needed to stay.

Mr Weir had never stayed in hospital before and admitted to neglecting some early signs.

He said: “This was the first time I’ve stayed in hospital in my life, but I suppose thinking back on it, there probably were signs.

“I either neglected those, or it’s quite easy to dismiss certain symptoms and to take an optimistic look on things.”

He told Stephen Nolan about when he realised things were serious: “One of the medical people drew a line, half way between my knee and my foot, with a felt tip marker, and I understood that if the infection got to that point then it would be a part of my leg that would be going.”

Mr Weir, who is due to have a further operation after Christmas, spoke about “the fear of the unknown”.

“I could cope with what is happening directly to me, but what would be the development the following day.”

He added: “Be aware of what the risks are. If you are seeing symptoms, whether it’s diabetes or a lump on your body, get these things checked out because it could make the difference.”