Pregnant mum, 28, chooses to have leg amputated to save unborn baby

A pregnant mother decided to lose her leg in order to save her unborn baby after a devastating diagnosis of cancer.

Kathleen Osborne, 28, had no idea she was pregnant the third time she went for an MRI scan to diagnose cancer.

She had two options: to have her baby aborted so she could start chemotherapy, or to have her leg amputated.

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In the fourth month of pregnancy, her entire right leg was amputated to eradicate the cancer.

Daughter Aida-May was born healthy and happy eight weeks early by caesarean section.

Kathleen from Wisbech, Cambridgeshire said, “I’m glad I made the decision to lose my leg because my daughter gave it to me.

“If I hadn’t amputated my leg at the time, I would have lost it and had chemotherapy that in the end might not even have saved my leg anyway.

“I wouldn’t have it if I hadn’t, so it was all worth it. I always wanted a little girl after having my two boys first and now she’s here so glad I did.

“They always wanted a sister too, so honestly it was for the best. I’m still very happy with my decision.

“I told the guys that the Transformers are building me a new leg that they love – they keep asking when my Transformer leg is coming and they think it’s very cool!”

Kathleen’s battle with cancer began when she was just 11 years old after a painful lump on her right leg turned out to be an osteosarcoma in 2005.

She had chemotherapy for bone cancer and had most of her kneecap removed and two metal rods inserted into her leg.

Kathleen was cancer-free for eleven years and welcomed two sons, Hayden, now nine, and Leo, now five, before discovering that the cancer had returned in 2016, this time in her lungs.

She said, “Childhood cancer usually regresses within two or three years, but mine came back after eleven years. It was really rare, it doesn’t happen often that they see this, so they had to act quickly.”

In March 2017, she received the all-clear, but just three and a half years later, another painful lump appeared on the top of her right leg that she was almost unable to walk.

Pregnant mum, 28, chooses to have leg amputated to save unborn baby 1

Kathleen said, “That’s how I found out I was pregnant – I had no idea!

“It was really scary because then I immediately thought I was going to lose my baby. I had only just found out about her and thought I was going to lose her.

“The doctors gave me two options. They said I could either abort my baby, get chemotherapy, have an operation and most likely lose my leg, or keep my baby and have my leg amputated right away.

“They gave me a week to make the decision and told me the sooner I had the surgery the better.

“My boyfriend stayed with me that night and I just cried a lot. I was really worried, I cried a lot and my boyfriend cried a lot with me.

“I thought I’d rather keep my baby and lose my leg. I would probably lose my leg anyway, so I might as well lose it now and keep my baby.

“I told the doctors the next day, I said book it in and just do it. There was no point in thinking about it too long because it would scare me even more.”

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She said, “It was really tough. Towards the end of the eight days, I looked down, but it was really strange to see the ceiling above me.

“I could see a bunch of where my leg was and then nothing next to it. I was really struggling to look at it, I just couldn’t bring myself to see it.

“I had to tell my boys that my leg was amputated before surgery, but I did it in a fun way so they wouldn’t be afraid or worried.

“They love Transformers so I said I had something bad in my leg and the doctors had to remove it, but Transformers were going to make a new leg for me.

“You said ‘really ?! That’s really cool!’ and then they loved it! It was the only way I could think of how to tell them, so I just carried on this story. “

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Kathleen said, “They only gave me two days to prepare for the birth – I thought I had eight weeks and then all of a sudden I only had two days, which was scary!

“I was afraid that I would lose it because I got it so early. I was worried about how good it would be and how big it would be.

“Those two days were horrible. All of these things went through my head, about them, and then about the fourth time I was diagnosed with cancer.”

Fortunately, Kathleen’s daughter Aida-May is now a healthy and happy little girl, having been born by caesarean section eight weeks earlier on March 12th.

Now that Kathleen’s fourth cancer has been declared inoperable and incurable, she is doing everything possible to make memories of her three children while she undergoes chemotherapy to give her more time for them.

Kathleen said, “We have booked a little vacation for next month and I’ve created a crowdfunding page to try and raise money so I can make as many memories as possible with the kids.

“That is my only focus now – making memories with my children. I don’t know how long I have left, it could be years, it could only be months.

“I just want to do as many things as you want. They really want to go to Disneyland, which we can’t do yet due to Covid-19, but hopefully in the future.

“My focus is on doing as much as possible with my children. It’s just you, my dreams are no longer important to me.

“As long as they have memories of me and have as much fun with me as possible, as long as we still have, then I’m happy.

“Then I can go as long as you are happy.”

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