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MINI MARVEL AMELIA DANCES NIGHT AWAY ...WITH HER SURGEON.

Byline: HELEN MACHIN News Reporter

AN eight-year-old who vowed to dance again after losing a leg to bone cancer, has tripped the light fantastic... with her surgeon.

Amelia Eldred, from Tamworth, was invited to present an award for excellence to Professor Lee Jeys at a staff event for the Royal Orthopaedic Hospital held at Birmingham Botanical Gardens.

She handed over the surprise award at the beginning of the evening, with the expectation that she might be too tired to stay for long.

But Amelia stayed for the entire night and loved the dancing, especially with Prof Jeys, whom she tried to teach a few steps!

"It was a lovely night," says mum Michelle.

"Amelia was the surprise guest, so we had to hide until Professor Jeys arrived, then Amelia was asked to present him with his award.

"It was brilliant - and lovely to see lots of staff we hadn't seen for ages.

"We sat on the same table as Prof Jeys and Amelia took over, dancing the first dance with him.

"She tried to teach him some dance steps, but I think he is a better surgeon than he is a dancer!" Amelia was diagnosed with an osteosarcoma in her left femur in August 2017 and underwent surgery to amputate the affected limb just over a year ago, also undergoing numerous rounds of chemotherapy.

Surgery to remove the tumour was carried out by Prof Jeys at Royal Orthopaedic Hospital.

He used a rare procedure called rotationplasty surgery where Amelia's leg was amputated high up her thigh, then the lower leg reattached the wrong way around.

It means that her heel will eventually work as a knee joint, with her foot slipping into a prosthetic.

Before her illness, Amelia enjoyed swimming, athletics, dancing, running, gymnastics and cycling and hopes to have the basic NHS prosthesis she currently uses replaced by a specialist "blade", like those used by Jonny Peacock on Strictly Come Dancing.

She has already returned to some of her favourite hobbies.

Michelle says: "She's back on her scooter; she can ride her bike, too, although only standing up, so we are looking to get it adapted.

"She has joined a theatre and dance group, she has started swimming again and is hoping to return to gymnastics.

"She has so much more energy now; she is doing PE at school again and does lots of after-school activities.

"When we attended the hospital awards, her dad and I were ready to go home at about 10.45pm, but Amelia didn't want to leave!"

It was brilliant. Amelia tried to teach Professor Jeys some dance steps, but I think he is a better surgeon than he is a dancer!

CAPTION(S):

| Amelia, mum and dad Michelle and Richard, and Professor Lee Jeys. Right, after op, and left, ringing the bell at the Children's Hospital at the end of her treatment

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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Feb 17, 2019
Words:478
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