Doctors Use Woman's Foot To Create A Knee So She Can Walk Again
| Last updated
Jessica Quinn was just eight years old when she was diagnosed with cancer and doctors amputated her leg to save her life. She now uses her foot as a knee to keep her prosthetic in place. Watch below:
At the time, medics thought it was just a regular break and treated it as such. But after months of struggling to get the bone to heal, they realised that there was something more sinister going on.
Jessica had a rare form of bone cancer, osteosarcoma, which had weakened her femur and caused it to snap.
She then underwent groundbreaking surgery to remove her thigh bone and rotating her shin so that she could use her foot as a joint for the prosthetic.
Speaking to LADbible, the author and model, from New Zealand, said: "I was outside playing with my sister, and I decided to stand on a soccer ball just trying to balance and show off a little bit, but I fell off and snapped my femur bone.
"I got rushed into hospital and they did surgery and tried to heal the break. They spent about three or four months trying to heal the bone, like they normally would, without realising why it had broken in the first place.
"But it just wasn't healing and I couldn't walk without being in pain, so they put me through some tests and realised I had osteosarcoma."
The 28-year-old was then put through a brutal chemotherapy plan, and spent the next few months living in hospital.
During this time, her weight plummeted to just 18kg (2.8st), and the decision was taken to remove her leg.
"It was just the only way to really get rid of everything and save my life," she says.
"But there were a few things at play. Because I'd broken my leg, it was complicated by the risk of the cancer being spread. They had also tried to fix the leg by putting rods up my femur bone, so having a bone replacement or anything like that was just not really an option. The goal was simply to save my life.
"So yeah, I had two options: one was a full hip disarticulation, which is an amputation, and in my case that would have been quite high in my hip socket.
"But that kind of gives you nothing to attach your prosthetic to, so you don't have a knee joint, and I was a really active kid, and I was only a kid, so I wanted to live as normal a life as possible.
"The other option was the rotation plasti, so they salvaged the good part of my leg and rotated it.
"I was the first person in New Zealand to successfully undergo this kind of amputation."
Over the years, Jessica had to adapt her life and her goals, finding it difficult to continue playing team sports like netball, which she loved.
She channelled her passions into art and design and now uses her social media channels to open up to her thousands of followers about the importance of being comfortable in your own skin.
Jessica told us: "There's kind of two camps, some people are like, 'Oh, I can't complain about my sprained ankle because you don't have an ankle or yours is in the wrong place', which I get, but all of our mountains are as big to us.
"We all struggle with our bodies and I've had to I guess force myself to accept mine or else live a really painful life."
And while she can sometimes find the responsibility of being that inspiration people look up to a bit overwhelming, it's something she feels passionately about.
Adding: "I have had to keep an eye on that a little bit, but at the same time, I do feel like this is my purpose and it's definitely what I want to do, telling my story."
You can read all about her story in full in her new book, Still Standing.