Queen's Cousin: I Cut Off My Toes on Arctic Trip

Rosie Stancer recounts horrific surgery on Antiques Roadshow
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2011 11:56 AM CST
Queen's Cousin: I Cut Off My Toes on Arctic Expedition
Rosie Stancer, Arctic explorer, says she cut off two toes without anesthetic while trying to hike to the North Pole in 2007.   (YouTube)

(Newser) – A distant cousin of the queen of England visited Antiques Road Show recently and revealed a personal anecdote—that she had cut off her own toes on an Arctic expedition, the Daily Mail reports. Rosie Stancer, 52, said she was trying to be the first woman to trek to the North Pole in 2007. She "got frostbite and gangrene in several of my toes and I had to amputate them myself because I was on my own. I didn’t have chloroform, not even a tot of rum."

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"I stand in awe," said Antiques expert Paul Atterbury. Stancer replied: "I still stand." She later told the Mail that her toes were turning "all colors of the rainbow," deteriorating and falling off in bits. "I had to decide whether I’d rather lose a few toes than risk losing a foot." So she took off two toes with a heated pen knife and kept hiking, but was airlifted 102 miles from the North Pole. She says she'll try the solo trek again in 2 years. (Read more North Pole stories.)

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