THE JOURNEY has proved difficult for Luca Railton and more pain remains in store over the next few weeks – but through hardship the little boy has been a model of patience and resilience.
After three difficult operations, during which one of his legs was broken and struts fitted to the bone to lengthen it, the 11-year-old Cricklade boy has experienced a setback as he was told the lengthening process would last three more weeks than initially expected.
This came as a blow to his parents as the pain had already taken its toll on their young son over the last month.
His mother Teresa said Luca’s pain threshold was approaching its limit. On Saturday, the young boy was placed on new medication to help him cope.
“He's been prescribed new medication which will help but the pain in his leg is also due to the fact he has a pin site infection, so he has been put on antibiotics too,” she said.
“Good news is that Luca is making great new bone where we are lengthening.
“The bad news is that we still have a further three weeks of turning, lengthening to go. The right leg (in the frame) still showed a discrepancy of 2 cm.
“Luca’s left leg has had another growth spurt so we need to lengthen a bit more for it to catch up. Dr Paley has also suggested that we could lengthen the leg even more so it takes over the length of the left leg, but we will see where we are and of course more importantly how Luca’s pain threshold is as he is already suffering.
“As a result of his pain, the turns have been slowed down hence why a further three weeks of lengthening.”
In February 2013, the Railtons were told by NHS doctors they would have no other option but to amputate his right leg or fuse it straight.
But American surgeon Dr Dror Paley told the family he could save Luca’s leg.
On July 2, Luca underwent a third operation to break his right leg and start lengthening his femur. Each day his parents must turn the struts placed in their son’s leg to allow the bone to grow.
Luca is now preparing for a fourth operation.
She added: “What this also means is that our time in US will be extended for a further time, but we still might be home just before Christmas.
“Luca remains in good spirits. Luca always asks the best questions and surprises the surgeons by his knowledge – well, that should not be a surprise to us as he has had 90 plus hours of surgery since the age of two.
“Alex and I remain in good spirits but we pray that our son gets through the next three weeks as it’s going to be tough.”