Runner has legs amputated after ultra-marathon

Taiwan’s leading female ultra-marathon runner has had to have both legs amputated after blisters on her foot developed into an infection, press reports said on Tuesday.

Chiu Shu-jung (51) remains in a coma in a French hospital following the amputation of her left leg on August 31 and of her right leg on September 1, the China Times daily said.

President Ma Ying-jeou has instructed Taiwan’s Foreign Ministry to assist the French hospital in saving Chiu’s life, the Central News Agency reported.

Chiu, a mother of two and a clerk at the China Steel Corporation, took part in the annual 1 500km ultra-marathon race, La Trans Gaule, between August 13 and 31.

On the 16th day of the 18-day race from Roscoff in north-western France to Gruissan-Plage on the Mediterranean, blisters on Chiu’s left foot broke. However, she continued to run and finished 17th of the 44 runners to complete the race.

Chiu was diagnosed with septicaemia, a potentially life-threatening infection, and was flown by helicopter to a hospital in Montpellier.

Doctors removed her left leg and the sole of her right foot on August 31, and amputated her right leg on September 1 to stop the infection from spreading.

Chiu, nicknamed ”ultra-marathon mama”, had been scheduled to join an ultra-marathon event in South Korea after the race in France. — Sapa-dpa

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