Tag Archives: tumor
Dailymail - When a doctor presented surgery options to parents of a cancer-stricken boy, one thing was made clear: He had to be able to play baseball again.
Now, Dugan Smith, 13, of Ohio, is pitching and playing first base, thanks to a unique procedure that turned his foot backwards.
It wasn’t a medical mishap or a doctor error – it was a bridge to getting the boy cancer-free and allowing him to keep most of his leg.
Dugan was 10 when he fell from a tree and fractured his femur.
Dr. Joel Mayerson told the Today Show that while undergoing treatment, a softball-sized malignant tumour was discovered in Dugan’s leg that was bleeding and polluting his muscles with cancer.
He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer that’s extremely rare in children, and Dugan’s parents had a decision to make.
His leg would need to be amputated, and when a doctor presented a surgery that would turn his right foot around to save his leg, they listened.
His mother, Amy Miller said: ‘The pros out-weighed the cons.
‘The only thing that would stop us from doing it would be — well, his foot would be on backwards.’
The surgery involved cutting above and below Dugan’s knee to remove the tumour before flipping and reattaching the lower portion of his leg.
Now, Dugan’s calf is his thigh, and the ankle joint acts as his knee, while the foot is now his ankle. A prosthetic ankle and foot do the rest.
More importantly, he’s cancer-free and playing baseball again.
His father Dustin Smith said: ‘If we would’ve opted for the one that would’ve looked the most normal, he wouldn’t have been able to do anything but walk.’
Dugan has admitted that the ordeal taught him an extremely valuable lesson.
He said: ‘Never give up, because 90 per cent of it is in your mind.’