A 10-year-old boy who was faced with having his leg amputated is now recovering from a life-changing operation to help him walk.
Luca Railton flew to Florida with his family earlier this month after a fundraising campaign to cover the cost of the £135,000 surgery, which took place on Thursday. E
ven though the appeal came slightly short of the target, donations have continued to pour in for Luca, with £91,500 collected so far.
Luca experienced excruciating pain following the 10.5 hour operation, but is improving every day. The Prior Park School, Cricklade, pupil was born with no bone in his right knee, no right tibia and only a partial left tibia due to a rare condition called bilateral tibial hemimelia, which affects one in a million people.
He had undergone more than 60 hours of surgery before this latest procedure to allow him to walk with the aid of leg supports.
Last year doctors in Oxford said there was no more they could do for Luca, and said they would have to either amputate or fuse his right leg straight.
But Dr Dror Paley, an American surgeon who has treated more than 200 patients with Luca’s condition, agreed to perform a pioneering operation on his legs to allow him to walk pain-free and without callipers.
Luca’s mother, Teresa, who has been posting regular updates on Luca’s recovery to her friends, family and supporters on the Help Luca Walk Facebook page, wrote on Saturday: “After a rough night Luca is now comfortable as they have increased his epidural dosage and other meds to help ease the pain.
“Luca is very sore which is understandable after a 10.5 hr op which he had on Thursday.
“We are hoping to get him off the epidural as it’s really suppressing his mood and appetite. We will get there, so we need to keep positive and strong.
“We saw one of the surgeons today who talked us extensively through the procedure that they undertook on both Luca’s legs.
“It’s amazing what they have done and Alex and I know that this blip and heartache we are currently experiencing will end up with positive results.
“Thank god for Dr Paley and his team. Thank you also for all your kind messages and your prayers. Your support is lifting our spirits no end.”
The following day, Luca was taken off epidural medication and received his first physiotherapy session.
“Luca is now off epidural and drains free,” his mother told her Facebook followers.
“He’s taken pain relief in pill form and they have already started physio on the left leg – they don’t hang about here – and we got him in the wheelchair and wheeled him outside for five minutes to get some fresh air.
“What a busy successful morning and it shows how amazing children are as the bounce back so quickly.
“He’s now sleeping. We are so proud of our boy.
“The best gift a mother could have is to see her child getting better.”
To make a donation to the Help Luca Walk appeal visit facebook.com/lucarailton.