A nurse who shrugged off persistent pain to continue working on the coronavirus front line has had her leg amputated after discovering a tumour.
Sette Buenaventura, 26, ignored cramp in her right calf for eight weeks while working at Salford Royal Hospital.
A scan in April revealed a sarcoma and her leg was removed above the knee.
She said working as a nurse means “you forget about your own pains because you’re busy helping other people… but everything comes at a cost”.
Ms Buenaventura, from Eccles, had struggled to walk due to the pain in her leg, but assumed she was experiencing the side-effects of being on her feet all day.
“When Covid-19 kicked off, we worked flat out, we didn’t have time to worry about aches and pains,” she said.
“We were there every hour to help anyone who needed us [and] I got a real taste for that level of commitment.
“That is what working in hospitals is like – you forget about your own pains because you’re busy helping other people, which I love to do, but everything comes at a cost.”
She said the cancerous tumour swelled to the “size of a golf ball” and she was told in May her only chance of survival was amputation.
“When they told me I had to have my leg removed, I got very upset, but because I had no time to think about it, I just got on with it,” she said.
“I like to look after myself and try my best to be healthy.
“I work in healthcare and never expected this to happen to me.”
‘Get checked out’
She has now been fitted with a prosthetic limb and hopes to return to work in November.
She said she wanted people to learn from her experience.
“I think it’s really important for anyone with a lingering pain to go and get it checked out,” she said.
“If I had caught this sooner, I would probably be in a different position now.”