Person of interest ID’d in Amber Alert of missing 12-year-old from Grand Junction

Uncommon surgery combats boy’s rare cancer

Liam Waldron is now a healthy, happy eight-year-old but just four years ago, his health took a serious turn for the worse.

"We went to go see family in New Jersey, came back and he had been complaining a little bit about his leg hurting," said Liam's mom, Wendy.

"I felt like I had growing pains and for thousands of nights and one night I couldn't fall asleep," said Liam.

Liam was suffering from a rare and aggressive form of bone cancer called Osteosarcoma.

"I saw my mom crying and I was like well, 'well what is that'? And my mom told me that 'you're kinda very sick'," Liam recalls.

After successfully undergoing 10 weeks of chemo, Cleveland Clinic surgeon Dr. Michael Joyce says traces of cancer remained.

To give Liam the best chance at running and jumping again, doctors suggested a surgery that is extremely unusual, called Rotationplasty.

Doctors amputated a portion of Liam's thigh, took part of his lower leg, rotated it backwards and reattached it to the thigh - his ankle now became his new knee.

Rotationplasty is rarely performed in the United States. In fact, fewer than 10 procedures are done annually.

"We saved the artery in the vein. We saved the nerves, and then we bring up the tibia after the resection to the upper part of the femur, rotate things 180 degrees, and anchor it with a plate," said Orthopedic Oncologist Dr. Michael Joyce.

Liam's surgery was followed by more chemo and in January, a specially designed prosthetic leg was made just for him.

Liam builds strength through physical therapy and with his cancer now in remission, he gets stronger everyday.