Jimmy Kay from Canada’s The Metal Voice recently conduced an interview with Millie Grimmett, Wife and manager of singer Steve Grimmett‘s Grim Reaper as she explained the tragedy in detail.
When asked about how the infection Steve had, led to the amputation of his leg
They were only ten days into the South American tour and of last week Steve was starting to feel unwell and he thought maybe it was altitude sickness, so they gave him some tablets and then Saturday at the gig he was still feeling very unwell and it went downhill quite quickly. Now there was somebody there who was a Doctor and I believe it was somebody who had to do with the support bands. The Doctor, took one look at Steve and it was like, no you are not right you have to go to the hospital.
Steve is type two diabetic, he injects insulin twice a day and he takes quite a bit of tablets as well. Previous to all this for nearly a year, Steve had a diabetic ulcer on his foot, it’s been treated here, with a nurse every week and really looking after it and he had no problems with it whatsoever and it was really healing very nicely before they went to South America. Steve got the ulcer checked out not long after he left, as he always does. Once he got on stage I think he knew it was his foot and it was this ulcer because he was struggling to stand and it was very sore and he was feeling very unwell, his blood sugars were all over the place and I think he knew then he had an infection and this was quite serious and the doctor who happened to be there would confirm that as well. Doctor said we really need to get you to a hospital, Steve was determined to do the gig, so Steve went on stage apparently he lasted about two and a half minutes and nearly passed out so instead of stopping the gig, he said just give me a chair. The crowd was very patient and Steve did the rest of the gig sitting down. Steve was determined to do some signing afterwords, he did that for an hour I believe and that was the point where people were saying enough is enough you got to go to the hospital.
So late Saturday night they took him into a hospital took one look at his foot and rushed him into surgery because they could see that he had a big hole where the ulcer was, they could see it was all infected. So they took him into surgery and basically cut his foot open because they needed to make sure they could scrap all the infection out. The had to remove a big chunk between the big toe and the toe next to it on his right foot and they bandaged it up. Monday morning they scanned him and they said I’m afraid we didn’t get all the infection we thought we did, we are going to have to take you back into the operation room again and you are going to lose a few toes. possible a foot worse case scenario. First thing Tuesday morning they did more test on him and they said we’ve got to get you in surgery now we can’t wait the infection has already spread form your toes to your knee on your right leg and if we don’t operate now you will lose your whole leg any more couple of hours you may lose your life.
Steve phoned me and he went through it all, he’s very upbeat about it and he said at the end of the day the doctors have saved my life, yes there is a part of me missing but we will get over it.
When asked if they had health travel insurance
Yes, we got travel insurance but they won’t pay. The final bill is $6000 American dollars. It’s though a bank they wont pay. It’s two things, one, something that already affects him the foot ulcer that got infected again, predetermined condition. And also they now no longer cover work that is public facing so if you have a job that has nothing to do with the public whatsoever and you never ever see them they may cover you but that is what insuracne companies are like over here they try everything not pay.
When asked how there lives will change
Our life is now completely different, totally different, we have got to change our house, the layout, we’ve got the change our cars, If he had his left leg he could drive an automatic car but its his right leg.
When asked if there will be a medical team on the plane when Steve will be flown home
No, this is what scares me, no there is no medical team, if the insurance was covered, the insurance was going to fly back Steve on a medical plane but because it’s not Steve is on the standard airplane and he will be in coach.
Just spoke to Steve. The airline wouldn’t let him on the plane today (even though the British Embassy and airline have been liaising constantly). So Steve is booked on a plane to fly home on Thursday and is going back to the hospital in the meantime. The rest of the band will be flying back on the next available flight, as they missed there’s, which means Steve will be on his own in the hospital, but he says he’s ok with that and the Embassy have promised they will look after him and get him back to the UK safely
Watch interview Here: