A £70,000 leg means Wisbech man can walk again

Billy Lee's new bionic leg being tested by (left) Billy’s prosthetist Shaun Annandale and right seni

Billy Lee's new bionic leg being tested by (left) Billy’s prosthetist Shaun Annandale and right senior prosthetic technician Paul Woods - Credit: Archant

A 20-year-old who lost his leg to cancer was heading home to the Fens last night – complete with a £70,000 prosthetic leg paid for by thousands of well wishers.

Billy Lee outside the Dorset clinic after trying out, for the first time, his £70,000 prosthetic leg

Billy Lee outside the Dorset clinic after trying out, for the first time, his £70,000 prosthetic leg. - Credit: Archant

Waiting for Billy Lee at his Wisbech St Mary home was his mother, Bex, who said: 'I cannot wait to see him climb out of his car on two legs.'

Billy has spent two days at an orthopaedic clinic in Dorset, where the artificial limb was fitted.

His prosthetist, Shaun Annandale, said: 'Billy has done remarkably well. I am really happy with the way in which he is adjusting to his new prosthesis – his resilience and determination are truly commendable.'

An appeal launched at the beginning of the year raised the £70,000 needed for the prosthetic leg within eight weeks. Well over £30,000 has been added since, which will pay for ongoing replacement of parts.

Billy Lee

Billy Lee - Credit: Archant


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Billy was diagnosed with an aggressive tumour in the top of his right leg on November 14 last year – 15 days before his 20th birthday.

His femur broke through the stress of the tumour and he underwent two sets of high dosage chemotherapy treatments.

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His mother said: 'Results on January 14 this year were not as we had hoped – the sarcoma was a more aggressive cancer than originally thought and although the cancer had started to die from the centre, and it had not reduced in size but, thankfully, had not spread.

'Billy's only chance of surviving was to have an immediate full leg and half hip amputation which took place in Birmingham a week later.'

Consultants told the family that Billy would spend the rest of his life on crutches or in a wheelchair, as the NHS was unable to fund a prosthetic limb for an amputation of this kind.

The family did some research and found a clinic 'able to give Billy his life back again'.

The Helix 3D leg and hip prosthetic cost £70,000 – with five yearly servicing and part replacements each time costing £18,500.

Comment – page 40

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