Countdown to leg-saving op
SCHOOLBOY Luca Railton leaves for America this week for leg-saving surgery after the community helped raise £91,500 in five months for his treatment.
Luca, 10, who lives in Rodbourne, near Malmesbury, will travel to Florida tomorrow with his mother Teresa, 42, and father Alex, 43, for the first of four major operations.
Speaking yesterday, Teresa, who works for Zeal Solutions Ltd in Swindon, said: “I just want to be there now.
“I keep thinking ‘oh my goodness, we are going’.
“People have been amazing with fundraising – absolutely amazing.”
The Prior Park schoolboy was born with no bone in his right knee, no right tibia (the bone below the knee) and only a partial left tibia because of a rare condition called bilateral tibial hemimelia, which affects one in a million people.
Despite undergoing more than 60 hours of surgery to help him walk with the aid of leg supports, doctors warned last year that there was no more they could do and Luca would have to have his right leg amputated or have it fused straight.
Determined to pursue other options, the family found a surgeon in America, Dr Dror Paley, who said he believed he could help Luca to walk pain-free and without calipers, having treated more than 200 others with the same condition.
The family were told they would need to raise £135,000 for all four operations and within just five months £91,500 of that target, which will pay for the first three ops, has been generated through fundraising, family savings and donations from family members.
“So many people have been involved in Luca’s journey since September so I want to do a blog and update everyone to let them know what’s happening,” added Teresa.
Luca’s first operation takes place on Thursday, March 27, where his legs and feet will be straightened with metal frames and his right leg will be lengthened.
Doctors have told the family, who are staying near the hospital in West Palm Beach, that they could be in America for eight months.
His second operation has been planned for May 28.
Teresa, above with Luca, said: “Luca is in pain with his legs and his feet are in the wrong position so we just want it to happen now.
“Luca doesn’t want to go but he knows he has to.
“I just need to concentrate on Luca now because it is going to be tough. He won’t be able to go out in the sunshine so I have got to keep him going.
“We have paid for three quarters of the operations, but we have one more operation and physio still to pay for and people are still fundraising.”