Courageous Suffolk teenager Kim Sale is looking forward to rest of her life after losing leg to cancer
PUBLISHED: 09:41 03 November 2015 | UPDATED: 09:02 06 November 2015
Five months ago Kesgrave High School’s Kim Sale, 14, was dealt the devastating news that a tumour in her leg was cancerous and 10 days ago had her leg amputated to halt the growth.
Kim was diagnosed with Ewing Sarcoma, an extremely rare form of bone cancer, in May.
In the months since her diagnosis, she has contracted hospital superbug ESBL twice and undergone intensive chemotherapy, spending the majority of the year in a hospital bed away from her friends, boyfriend and family.
On October 3, Kim’s 14th birthday, she was rushed to hospital and told her only chance of beating the cancer was to have her right leg amputated above the knee, after scans showed the tumour had wrapped itself around the neuro-vascular bundle of veins, nerves and arteries within her leg.
Her operation was on October 23.
It was a difficult decision for the sporty youngster to make, with basketball and javelin her favourite sports, but Kim is determined not to let her operation tarnish her future.
“It was my life or my leg,” she said. “When I was first diagnosed with cancer, I just went blank. Everything turned upside down. I was truly in fear.
“When I was told about an amputation, I found myself crying. I was in denial of it all.
“I was panicking. All I could think about was everything in my life, all of it gone and ruined.
“I wanted to disappear and escape from it all. It didn’t feel real.
“After I’d calmed down I sat in silence not moving an inch. I knew it had to be done.
“I just think to myself, this is my life now, make the most of it.
“One thing that I’ve said from the start to help me get through this, they gave me cancer, not because I wanted it but because they knew I could handle it. Not forgetting the incredible support I’ve had from these amazing three girls Katie Catling, Yasmin Hardwicke and Tayler Evans and my incredible boyfriend, Joe Hunt.
“I’m looking forward to living the rest of my life. There will be some hard times and some struggles but I’ll get through them all.
“So far the recovery is going well and I can already hop on crutches unaided. I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far.
“I hope to be able to look into what alternative sporting options there are available to me. You never know, I may make it into Team GB for the Paralympics one day!”
The operation has removed the tumour, however, Kim still needs to have what is known as “mopping up surgery”, consisting of eight more rounds of chemotherapy, to ensure that all of the tumour cells are destroyed.
She is due to finish her chemotherapy at the end of March.
How Kim’s illness unfolded:
May 13 - Kim and her family receive the devastating news that a tumour in Kim’s leg is cancerous at Ipswich Hospital. She is referred for an urgent appointment with specialists at Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge
May 21 - Kim is referred to Royal Orthopaedic Hospital, Birmingham, for a biopsy.
June 2 - Final diagnosis of Ewing Sarcoma - an extremely rare form of bone cancer in children, most common when aged between 10-20-years-old.
October 3 - Kim turns 14, and is rushed to hospital by ambulance. Kim and her family are told that the tumour has wrapped itself around a neurovascular bundle of nerves, veins, Lymph vessels and arteries, and that he leg must be amputated.
October 23 - Kim undergoes major surgery which sees her right leg amputated above the knee.
October 31 - Facebook and JustGiving pages are set up to tell Kim’s story and help her to fundraise for a natural-looking silicon prosthetic leg, not available on the NHS, which raises more than £4,000 in the first 24 hours.
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