“You can never cross the ocean without being brave enough to lose sight of the shore.”
Josh was going well at school, learning to speak Chinese and running and swimming many kilometres each week. His sore leg was dismissed as a sporting injury at first but once the real cause was uncovered, his world came crashing down.
A tumour in Josh’s leg was soon identified as an Osteosarcoma, a cancerous tumour in the bone just above his left knee. Time spent at school and playing sports was soon replaced with over 100 long nights on the oncology ward at The Children’s Hospital at Westmead.
He bravely embarked on a gruelling chemotherapy treatment plan, as well as limb salvage surgery. This kind of cancer has often resulted in leg amputation in other patients but Josh was lucky to benefit from a new approach. His leg has been fitted with a special $80,000 prosthesis which extends from his hip to his shin. It can be adjusted through an internal gearbox and external induction magnet as he grows, avoiding future surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
Josh tackled his recovery head-on, standing on his repaired leg just one day after his surgery while still in intensive care. Over the course of three weeks he learnt to walk again and headed straight to the swimming pool once finally discharged from hospital six months later, swimming an incredible 20 laps.
“We are just so grateful that Josh has been returned to health. We have our boy back,” Al said.
Josh’s parents, Al and Jackie, are incredibly proud of their courageous boy who has been through so much over the past year. Quiet, studious and caring, Josh is also a great role model to his two younger brothers, Jasper and Jordan.