Hi!  My name is Katy and  I'm thirteen years old. When I was just four-and-a-half, the doctor found a tumor in the lower part of my left leg, and told me that the kind of tumor I had should go away by the time I was 5 or 6. It didn't... it kept on growing instead. The funny thing wasthat no one in my family had had any thing like it before me! My doctor did try to save my leg for me. He didn't want to have to amputate it. First I took something called shark cartilege, and then I even went to Mexico for some other special treatment. Just so I wouldn't have to have my leg taken off!

    By then I was 8 years old, and so sick of all the pain I had in my leg that I *wanted* to have it removed. The pain was so bad I could've screamed!! So finally on June 13, 1995,  I had the amputation! 

    Most kids I guess would have been scared, but not me. I was excited! Finally the pain would go away...I was on the operating table for 7 hours. My Uncle Jim was there before I even got the IV put in! He stayed with my parents the whole time, which was really great! I know that my grandmother was  worried about me and wanted him there. 

    Then August of 1998 I got my leg. Now I'm doing fine. I'm really glad I got rid of the pain!!! 

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                Joan Fleitas, Ed.D., R.N.
                 Associate Professor of Nursing, Lehman College
                 Bronx, New York 10468

                       Last updated: November 14, 2004