Wolverhampton teen set for leg amputation to gain independence – BBC

A teenager born with cerebral palsy picked to play football for England has decided to have a leg amputated.
Jude Aston, 18, from Wolverhampton, developed complications following leg surgeries that began in childhood.
He said having exhausted other treatment options, he had decided on the above-knee procedure, due this month.
"I will be so much more independent having my leg taken off – it will be a positive thing," he said.
When he was 15, he had surgery to lengthen muscles to help him walk more easily.
"I was aching playing football," he explained. "I played football for the West Bromwich cerebral palsy team and was selected for England."
But months after surgery to improve his situation, he developed the complication called complex regional pain syndrome.
His case was one of the most severe doctors had ever seen, he said. More complexities meant his leg became stuck, with it folded upwards at the knee, towards his chest, for three years.
"I couldn't wear jeans and jogging bottoms because my right leg would be in the way," he told the BBC.
"I went to see a tailor and they cut the back of my trousers and put Velcro on so I can [wear them]," he said.
Despite spending months in hospital, Mr Aston began an online journalism course from his bed and carried out paid work for a council communications team.
"My doctor used to joke that I was the only inpatient in the entire hospital who was working," he said.
The teenage Aston Villa fan has dreams of being a sports reporter and has social media and YouTube channels in which he has interviewed famous footballers including England star Jack Grealish and former Villa boss and Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard.
But struggling with the awkward position of his leg, and unable to even keep bedsheets on it, Mr Aston has decided to have the amputation.
"My physios helped me in hospital and I started to figure out how much my leg really affects me," he said. "I can't learn to drive, I can't sit in a car as a passenger as my leg is in the way. I have to sit very differently to other people.
"I suggested having my leg amputated and I've now done a lot of research and talking to psychologists."
Later this month, Mr Aston is due to go to Birmingham Children's Hospital for the operation and says he is not nervous.
He has made a video with a poem he has written about his amputation as he says he wants to present it in a positive light.
"I know that the biggest risk of having this surgery is that my pain syndrome could come back in my stump or another limb," he said.
"It's strange. I currently feel excited ahead of my amputation. I know it could give me lots more independence. Sadly, I've already (effectively) lost my leg."
Dr Karen Davies, a paediatrician from New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton, who has got to know Mr Aston, said: "Any surgery involves a significant risk of Jude's pain condition returning but he is fully aware of the risks having spoken to psychologists and doctors many times and remains determined that this is the right decision for him."
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