It’ll be a leaving party of a very different kind when a brave teen throws a bash to bid farewell to the leg he is having amputated.
Thomas Green, 13, a pupil at Brooksbank School, Elland, has faced 20 unsucessful operations on his left leg to treat a venous malformation - a network of veins behind his knee that have bled into the joint and caused severe arthritis.
From an early age he has been unable to bend his left knee and any physical activity causes him intense pain. In October he was advised by specialists that amputation was his best option.
Thomas will now celebrate the impending removal of his leg with a special party. His mum Adele and father Matthew have booked caterers, an Elvis Presley impersonator and have had a cake made in the shape of a leg.
A keen sportsman, Thomas is hoping the amputation and fitting of a prosthetic leg will enable him to take part in more competitive sport.
One of his few current opportunities to take part in sport is through the charity Panathlon, who give over 10,000 disabled and SEN student every year the chance to take part in competitive sport.
Thomas said: “At the end of a Panathlon event I feel like it’s a big achievement for me, because I can’t really do many sports. This is one I can do, and I love it.
“I’ve had so many operations to try and make it better but they’ve not worked. I’m feeling nervous about the operation, but afterwards I’ll be able to walk pain free. I’m looking at it positively – or trying to.”
At Panathlon’s Yorkshire Regional Multisport Final in York on Wednesday, Thomas led his team Calderdale to victory to take home gold and he won the shot put, boccia and table cricket events.
Thomas’ father Matthew added: “Thomas has two brothers who are very good rugby players, but when he came back from that first Panathlon event with a medal around his neck, that meant more to me and his mum than anything.
“When Thomas was little he liked rugby too, but he was just in too much pain in the days afterwards. He’s still in pain now, he can’t bend that leg at all or put any weight on it. When he’s got the prosthetic, he’ll be 100 per cent better off and it will open up a new world for him.
“The ‘Leg Leaving Party’ is our idea just to make light of the situation a bit. He’s had 20 operations on his knee and veins in his legs, but the amputation will hopefully be his last operation. Everything after that will be recovery and he will eventually be up and about properly with a prosthetic leg. It will be the end of a very difficult time throughout his childhood. Hopefully it’s now all coming to an end, so we’re throwing a bit of a leaving do for his left leg.”
Sarah Pearce, Learning Support Assistant at Brooksbank School, added: “All of our student love coming to these Panathlon events, but Thomas in particular loves them because it enables him to compete on a level playing field with other disabled children. “He is one brave lad, and I know all of his friends are really looking forward to the party.”