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'Robot Leg': Eddy, 5, Is First To Get Implant

A five-year-old boy who lost his leg to cancer has become the first child in Britain to get a special implant allowing him to walk.

Eddy Parry was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer and had to have his leg amputated.

Surgeons at Birmingham's Royal Orthopaedic Hospital removed Eddy's femur replacing it with an artificial bone; a procedure which has only been carried out on adults.

They attached his tendons to the implant so he could control mobility. It has meant he can have a prosthesis, which he describes as his "robot leg".

Doctors believe the procedure could be extended to other children who have lost limbs through trauma or meningitis.

The idea was put to doctors by his parents Claudia Kassner and Jon Parry, from Derbyshire.

Jon said they wanted to give their son the best chance of walking in the future and an amputation up to the pelvis would have made it difficult.

"Obviously he will have limitations - he won't be able to do high impact sports, but only time will tell. They didn't even think he would get to this stage but look at him already."

Eddy, who suffers from osteosarcoma, can walk unassisted and refers to his old leg as having "gone to heaven".

His mother, Claudia, says there is a high possibility of the cancer returning but they are hoping for the best.

"The fear that we have, we try not to think about it. You want to always think positive but we are hoping we haven't put him through all this for nothing."

Eddy started showing symptoms of bone cancer last year. He had night sweats and he started to limp.

GPs often misdiagnose the condition as a sporting injury or growing pains. Eddy's parents want to raise awareness of the condition so that other families can recognise the signs. They also want to raise money towards researching the disease.

Julia Kermode, chief executive of Bone Cancer Research, says more work is needed.

"That's what Bone Cancer Research Trust is trying to do," she said. "To develop treatments or research so we know more about Primary Bone Cancer and that's why survival rates have not improved in recent years, because there's just not enough known about it."

Symptoms can include reduced movement of a joint, a limp, weight loss, high temperature or fever, night sweats and breathlessness. An X-ray is sometimes all that is needed to make a diagnosis.