A MIRACLE man diagnosed with mouth cancer has told how he underwent EIGHT operations following a series of setbacks and nearly died from blood poisoning.

At one stage surgeons at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital were forced to abandon an operation midway through — when William Murdoch contracted septicaemia.

The 53-year-old butcher was rushed to high dependency, where medics feared he wouldn’t make it through the night.

During his five weeks in hospital he faced several attempts at painful surgery to rebuild his mouth after the cancerous lump was removed.

Now only months later he is going back to work — and is all set to marry his fiancee.

William, of Gourock’s Tarbet Street, said: “I really shouldn’t be here after getting septicaemia.

“They realised I had blood poisoning and had to stitch me up as fast as they could.

“When I woke up the surgical assistant, who had been with me the whole time, told me that they had made plans to contact the funeral director.

“I am sore, but what can I say, I am here.”

In January this year William, who works as a butcher in Morrisons, Greenock, went into hospital for a 12 hour reconstructive surgery.

Surgeons had planned to remove the cancerous lump and replace it with tissue from his scapula flap.

But within hours medics realised that it had failed and William was forced to undergo a series of operations. 

He said: “There were so many operations because of one complication after another. 

“They realised it hadn’t set the first time and had to get me back down quickly to take it all out.

“They also took tissue from my hip.

“I don’t have a shoulder blade anymore, I have a piece of metal in my mouth and I don’t have any teeth on my right hand side now.

“But the cancer has gone.”

Five weeks after his first operation on January 10, William was all set to leave hospital when his stitches ruptured and he had to have emergency surgery. 

William added: “My suture line burst open.

“I was was going to get out of hospital on Valentines Day as well.”

In total William spent five weeks in hospital but instead of taking months to recover he has his heart set on going back to work later this month.

William said: “I have been a butcher for 38 years.

“I shouldn’t really go back for a year, but I just want to get back to doing what I love best.

“Saying those words again ‘Good morning, how can I help you?’, will mean the world to me.”

Throughout his 37 days in hospital his partner Sandra Milligan, 42, was at his bedside.

Sandra, pictured with William, said: “I thought I’d lost him.

“It was heartbreaking to see him going through all that.

“But he is so, so strong and he has pulled through it all.” 

Now the couple are looking ahead to their wedding in August 4 this year.

William said: “The thought of marrying Sandra is what kept me going.

“I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for her — she is everything to me.”