A Dundee woman who is struggling to walk due to a painful disorder has launched a fundraiser for surgery.
Isobel Harris, 65, has been diagnosed with Lipoedema, a condition causing abnormal build-up of fat around the wrists and ankles.
The condition affects around one in 10 women, but Isobel said her treatment options on the NHS were so limited she is being forced to seek help privately.
Isobel, from the West End, said: “The condition can lie dormant for a long time and be triggered by a hormonal change or a trauma.
“Around five years ago I was involved in a car crash and hit my legs on the steering wheel. After that I started to suffer with more and more pain in my legs. I had sore knees and my ankles got very thick.
“My GP kept telling me there was nothing wrong with me and to just lose weight. Then in 2015 I saw a female doctor who immediately recognised the condition.”
Lipoedema usually affects women, but in very rare cases it can also affect men.
The disorder causes parts of the body to become enlarged due to the build-up of fat cells, causing pain, poor circulation and increased bruising.
Isobel’s condition has deteriorated so much that she now struggles to walk or play with her grandchildren.
She said: “There are so many ways this has affected my life.
“I can’t wear the clothes I used to like wearing, no lovely short dresses, no high heels, no nice jeans, which in turn created no confidence. I can’t socialise like I used to.
“I also have chronic pain now. I can’t scratch an itch on my leg because it’s too sore.
“I can’t do housework and I can’t walk without a stick.
“There’s no more paying with my grandchildren, I have to watch from the side.
“I have nothing to look forward to with this condition, my life has been taken away from me.
“I hate asking for help but I have no other choice.”
Isobel was told she was not eligible for treatment on the NHS and is now looking to go abroad to get liposuction.
A spokesperson for NHS Tayside said: “Due to patient confidentiality, we are unable to comment on matters relating to individual patients.
“All treatment decisions for patients are based on a medical assessment carried out by a specialist clinician. Patients are then referred for further treatment if clinically appropriate.”
Isobel needs to raise around £10,000 to go for surgery in either Germany, Poland or the Czech Republic.
To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/isobel-harris-2