Sam's positive about new operation

SAM Donaldson begins a new chapter in his life next week when doctors hope to fix his leg for good.

The Boambee East teen has encountered new hurdles with his right leg 11 years on from a horrific accident which almost cost him the limb.

They’re much more than growing pains and require precision surgery from specialists at Brisbane’s Mater Hospital.

“We’re just grateful there is an opportunity to fix Sam’s leg,” said his mum, Alana.

“The surgeon who is doing it has just returned from Austria teaching this procedure.”

Sam was only two-and-a-half when he fell under farm equipment at his family’s Brisbane property.

His leg was torn open from the thigh to the kneecap – he lost some of the kneecap along with muscles, tendons and ligaments and the bone was damaged.

He underwent seven operations in three weeks and the team of orthopaedic and plastic surgeons and micro surgeons at the Mater worked miracles to save the leg.

Little Sam was in a wheelchair then a brace and since then he’s been able to live his life as normally as any other youngster.

“He has done everything that a little boy growing up has wanted. He can’t play contact sport, though,” Mrs Donaldson said.

“But six months ago we noticed he started limping and was in pain. He had never limped before.

“An MRI scan indicated his growth plate in his leg had stopped working. Sam’s femur in his right leg had stopped growing and is bowed.”

Sam will go into surgery on Wednesday when doctors will cut the femur and insert rods and wires from one side of the leg, through the femur and through to the other side.

They will then attach a frame known as an external fixator which will be manually adjusted to strengthen the leg and help it grow.

“Without that he would eventually not be mobile,” Mrs Donaldson said.

Sam will need a wheelchair and crutches for eight months after the tricky procedure but he’s remaining positive.

He will also have a notebook laptop computer donated by Harvey Norman so he can keep in touch with his schoolwork and his mates.



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