A BUDDING sports star cried tears of joy when the NHS finally agreed to amputate his right leg, because the operation means he can work towards his dream of competing in the Tokyo Paralympic Games in 2020.

Most people would be distraught at the thought of losing a limb, but for Jamie Gane the amputation means that he may finally see an end to constant chronic pain.

The 22-year-old, from Basingstoke, who is studying at IFS University College, in London, has severe and chronic plantar fasciitis, causing him to suffer unbelievable pain in his right foot since he was 11-years-old.

The repetitive strain injury means it is impossible for his foot to be touched, or to have any pressure placed on it without searing pain.

“Any pressure, even the slightest touch, can feel like a knitting needle piercing my foot,” said Jamie.

“It’s agonising. I can’t begin to describe how intense the pain can be.”

Whilst most people recover from plantar fasciitis with rest and arch support, severe, chronic cases can have a dramatically debilitating impact on someone’s life.

Jamie finds that using crutches is too much of a risk, so has been unable to walk properly for much of his life, and is now mainly confined to a wheelchair – something which is hugely frustrating for the avid sports enthusiast who currently competes in powerlifting.

Following more than 20 operations and countless tests, examinations, appointments and scans, Jamie decided last year to look into having an operation abroad after the NHS refused to amputate.

He was planning to travel to India to have the operation done privately.

But after six months of intensive counselling, talking to other amputees and with support from his family and friends, Jamie was delighted to receive the news that the NHS has now agreed to amputate his leg, with the operation booked for July 5 in Blackpool.

Jamie said: “Disability is a self-identity but it does not necessarily mean that I accept this as mine. I’ve had my condition for around 12 years and it has been progressively getting worse. This may come as a shock to some but, I have reached a point in my life whereby I've decided that the right decision for me is to have my right leg amputated below the knee.

“Logistically, there are a few problems to overcome and I appreciate that this is a life-changing decision however it is not one that I’ve made lightly. I have been undertaking counselling for the last six months to address the issues regarding my decision. My immediate family are aware of the situation and however difficult, they understand that this is something that I have to do for myself to give me the best possible future.”

Jamie is in constant pain and takes medication daily, but is looking forward to the operation and moving on with his life, hoping to recover fully by the time he starts a new job in September.

“Hopefully, this will be the start of a whole new chapter in my life,” he said.

Jamie hopes the amputation will allow him to pursue his dream of competing in the Paralympics in javelin, discus and shot put.

“Despite not being able to put pressure on my foot and having no ankle movement, I don’t currently qualify for the Paralympics so this would enable me the chance to compete in the arena too,” he explained.

Jamie has set up a GoFundMe page to help with the fees towards medical aftercare and new sports equipment including a specially adapted throwing chair.

Kelsea Little, spokeswoman for GoFundMe.com said: “We are very inspired by Jamie and his dream for a new, pain-free life. We hope the support continues to flow into his campaign and we wish him all the very best with his new job and future sporting goals.”

To support Jamie visit gofundme.com/PegLegParalympian.