Giant message in the sand for cancer-battling teenager ahead of leg amputation

A giant message has been written in the sand to wish a courageous teenager good luck ahead of surgery to amputate his leg.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 8:08 am

Kai Heslop 19, is due to have his leg amputated above the knee at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital today, Tuesday, May 11 – the day of his 20th birthday.

The teenager, from South Shields, was diagnosed with a type of bone cancer in his left leg called osteosarcoma in January 2021 after complaining of persistent pain in his leg following two minor injuries.

His family shared the story of his brave cancer battle last week in a bid to raise £60,000 for Kai to have osseointegration surgery in Sweden that would see him fitted with an ‘ultra-modern’ prosthetic leg.

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A giant message in the sand to support Kai, who is having his leg amputated as he battles cancer
A giant message in the sand to support Kai, who is having his leg amputated as he battles cancer

Now a huge message has been drawn in the sand at Sunderland’s Roker Beach by Alfred Huntley bearing the words ‘good luck Kai’ ahead of his surgery.

After complaining of leg pain in January, Kai went on to develop a large lump on the side of his left leg.

When the pain became so severe on January 25 he went to A&E at South Tyneside District Hospital where he underwent an X-Ray and MRI scan.

Just days later was referred to Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital where he underwent a biopsy and doctors told him he had a rare bone cancer tumour at the top of his left leg.

A giant good luck message has been written in the sand at Roker beach in Sunderland for South Shields teenager Kai Heslop who will have his leg amputated on May 11.

Following his diagnosis Kai underwent a 10-week course of intensive chemotherapy, following which doctors told him that the cancer has not spread beyond his leg.

However as part of his life-saving treatment Kai will need to have his leg amputated and undergo a further 20 weeks of chemotherapy at the Freeman Hospital before having a standard prosthetic fitted.

But Kai’s family believes the surgery in Sweden would give him a greater quality of life, as the modern prosthetic leg would enable him to feel different surfaces as he is walking and allow him greater mobility.

Kai’s bravery has even caught the attention of Newcastle United captain Jamaal Lascelles, who wrote to the Toon Army fan to say that the squad was behind him as he ‘tackles the biggest fight of his life.’

Kai Heslop with girlfriend Nicole Hughes who has supported him throughout his health battle.

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A giant good luck message has been written in the sand at Roker beach in Sunderland for South Shields teenager Kai Heslop.