Kyra Warrell, a six-year-old girl from Brighton, has undergone a successful surgery in Israel that will save her leg.
“The operation was a success, and Kyra will be ready next year for the first of two or three leg-lengthening surgeries which will give her a full range of motion by the time she is 16,” says Dr. Dror Paley, a specialist in treating proximal focal femoral deficiency.
Kyra is currently in a cast from her stomach to her ankle, but they hope she will be out of this in the next few days.
Rima, Kyra’s mother, said Kyra is sleeping a lot at the moment. “She is on an epidural to control her pain, so the challenge will be how she feels tomorrow when it’s removed and she is moved on to just paracetamol for pain control.”
She added that Kyra had expressed an interest in visiting the hospital’s pancake stand and was to looking forward to celebrating her birthday on Wednesday.
Kyra told the Jewish Chronicle:
“I feel OK, but the tube in my arm is bothering me.”
“The doctor said if I could wiggle my toes he would leave me alone for the rest of the day; I wiggled them and it hurt.”
“I was scared the bath in bed would hurt, but it was nice; Daddy lifted me from the bed and we cuddled.
“I’m excited about my birthday. Mummy and Dad brought my presents in a suitcase so I can open them in bed, and I asked for a chocolate and raspberry cake.”
Kyra has Proximal Focal Femoral Deficiency (PFFD), a rare condition affecting fewer than 1 in 50,000 children in the world. This means she has a deformed hip, a shortened left thigh and unstable knee and ankle. As her left leg is so much shorter, she needs to wear a bulky and heavy prosthetic to help her walk, which causes her a lot of pain.
Under the NHS the only option was amputation, however, an American Jewish doctor, Dr. Dror, offered them an alternative. Dror is a leading expert on PFFD and although he lives and works primarily in the USA, he also offers discounted surgeries in Israel once a year.
After discovering this option the family launched a fundraising campaign to save Kyra’s leg. They met the target in January after receiving some assistance from a local charity and donations from individuals around the UK.
On return to Britain, the Warrells, who are not Jewish, will embark on a new fundraising effort for the £95,000 cost of travelling to Florida for leg-lengthening surgery which must be followed by three months of daily physiotherapy close to the hospital to ensure the best chance of success.
They are prepared to sell their house to meet any shortfall: “The NHS says the cost of anything but amputation is too high for them to meet, but it’s not an option we can accept while we know there is an alternative for Kyra to keep her own leg and not need a prosthetic,” says Mrs Warrell.
“It will help that we are getting charity status.”