Boy grows leg by a foot – by turning screws

Simeon Fairburn has been performing the grisly daily procedure to fill a gaping hole left after surgeons removed a tumour.
The 14-year-old initially faced amputation but – two years and 20 operations later – he can dream again of becoming a basketball player.
Simeon suffered osteofibrous dysplasia, a condition that occurs when the body grows fibrous tumour instead of bone
Doctors fitted a brace to his leg and he has to turn tiny screws four times a day to encourage the remaining bone to stretch by just 1mm at a time.
‘There were some days where I thought I might never be able to walk again,’ Simeon said.
‘I’ve always loved basketball and couldn’t get enough of it so that helped keep me focus.
‘The brace was really weird for the first few months but the more times I looked at it I started to get more relaxed,’ he added.
‘I never thought about giving up turning the screws. I would always do them – but there were times when I would skip a few days accidentally and the next day I would have to double it just to keep up.’
Dr Geoff Donald, who trained at the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in central London, masterminded the procedure. ‘It’s very difficult to grow bone. You have to trick the body into thinking you have a fracture,’ he said.
Simeon’s mother, LaDonna Fairburn, from Brisbane, Australia, hailed the incredible procedure. ‘All week he has had this amazing smile on his face from his new-found sense of freedom,’ she said.


2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Ammara said,

    well that is pretty cools but damn…..ii wouldnt likethat metal on my leg everyday 😐

  2. 2

    Chu said,

    yeahhh “/ i’d have like a mini panic attack everytime i looke dat my leg tbh?

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