‘I’m grand’: Cork woman cuts off finger after years of chronic pain

‘I threw it in the bin...Ever since I have had no pain. It has been brilliant.’

A young Cork woman who cut off her own right index finger after suffering eight years of chronic pain has said she is in now in "a bubble of brilliantness".

Megan Cullen (25) from Bantry, Co Cork first came to media attention in August 2015 after a failed attempt to chop off the finger with an axe.

She took the extreme move having spent years in pain. She first began experiencing extreme pain in the finger after it became jammed in a car door when she was eighteen.

Megan decided to perform a second DIY amputation at her home in west Cork last Friday after a heavy dose of painkillers and two operations still rendered her unable to live a normal life.


She threw her finger in the bin at her home after performing the amputation. She spent the weekend at Cork University Hospital where she was treated for her injuries.

In an interview on the Neil Prendeville Show, on Cork's Red FM, she said she took the drastic measure because has been suffering from severe pain in her finger for years.

Megan has a diagnosis of Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) which involves severe pain confined to one area.

“I went to counselling. I went to see surgeons. I found out I had Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome. (CRPS).

“The best way a surgeon explained to me was that it was like my nerves were drunk and they couldn’t get back. So they didn’t know where to get back and they were causing me pain.”

Megan requested an amputation in Ireland. She received information from England but her request was turned down.

She decided against going to the UK because of issues to do with fundraising.

“To go to the UK you have to fundraise. You have to find a doctor who will listen. It is very easy when you are over there. It is not easy when you are in Ireland.”

Megan stresses that she tried every form of pain relief but nothing worked for her.

“I went on higher and higher stuff. I went on to morphine. Morphine patches, sleeping tablets, anti-depressants anything you could think of I was on and I still wasn’t sleeping. It was still agony. It was still ten out of ten everyday.”

Last Friday she decided she had “had enough.”

“I planned it for about a week. I am not saying exactly how I did it. I don’t want people doing what I did.

“I made sure I was Detolled.(Detol antiseptic) I took it off. I screamed. I called for my mother to call the ambulance.

“I threw my finger away so that they could not grab it and sew it back on. I got rid of it. I threw it in the bin. I made sure it was nowhere to be seen. We had to wait about 45 min for the ambulance.”

Megan insists she does not regret her decision and with antibiotics she is on the road to recovery.

“Ever since I have had no pain. It has been brilliant. I haven’t taken any painkillers. I said ‘I am grand.’ It is great.”