By Dan Coles
A little boy who survived cancer but lost his leg will be able to one day walk again thanks to surgeons who replaced his knee with his FOOT.
Austin Degnan, 7, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma, a type of bone cancer, when he was six years old in 2018 after feeling severe pain in his left leg that persisted for a couple of days.
After his diagnosis, his parents Jon Degnan, 37, and wife Kerry, 36, from Illinois, USA, were told the only way to save Austin was to amputate his leg.
But because the leg had to be amputated above his knee, Austin wouldn’t have been able to run around and play with his pals – because prosthetic legs are unable to replicate a knee joint.
Amazingly, medics pledged to help the active youngster live a normal life – by cutting off his foot and turning his heel into a knee joint, that can have a prosthetic attached at a later date.
Austin’s tumour has now been cut out, his foot has been attached, and he refers to his incredible limb as his ‘little foot’.
Jon, a delivery driver, said: “We never knew something like this would even be possible, it took several explanations from our doctors to understand how it worked.
“We looked for visuals to know what we could expect and our decision took a lot of thought to make because ultimately we would be changing his appearance for life.