A Tamworth schoolgirl has been given a new lease of life thanks to the help of our specialist cancer and pioneering surgery performed by experts at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.
When seven-year-old Amelia Eldred’s leg gave way beneath her, the last thing her parents expected it to be was cancer.
But after a series of tests and x-rays, doctors at the Children’s Hospital soon diagnosed her with a rare form of bone cancer which had caused a 10cm tumour to form on her left leg.
After undergoing several rounds of intense chemotherapy, it was unclear as to whether the treatment had worked, as the tumour hadn’t shrunk. The decision was then made to amputate her leg in order to remove the tumour, after which they found that 99% of the cancer cells had been successfully killed despite its size.
But all was not lost as surgeons at the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital suggested a rare procedure called a rotationplasty. This would involve the amputation of Amelia’s leg high up on her thigh, and the lower leg would be reattached backwards. This means in time, her heel will work as a knee with specially made prosthesis being attached to her foot.
The aim is that this will allow Amelia to remain as mobile as possible, even potentially reigniting her love of dance and gymnastics as she gets used to her new leg.
Amelia’s mum, Michelle Eldridge, a Media Co-ordinator at Tamworth Borough Council, said:
“We’ve all been so amazed at how quickly Amelia has adapted to her leg post-surgery. She’ll happily show it off to anyone who wants to see and she’s so proud to be different.
“Amelia has always been an active little girl, taking part in lots of different sports and she dreams that one day she can return to dancing and perform on stage. I have every belief that she will get there – her determination is incredible and she talks all the time about how her new leg will let her travel the world one day and maybe even enter the Paralympics.”
Amelia will continue to visit the Children’s Hospital until the end of the year while she undergoes further chemotherapy to ensure that all cancer cells have been successfully removed. She’ll also be prescribed a powerful immune boosting drug to help her in her recovery and to reduce the chances of the cancer returning in years to come.
Expert teams at both Birmingham Children’s Hospital and the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital will be keeping a close eye on Amelia over the coming months and years as she continues her treatment.