Girl, 7, set to have leg amputated after rare condition saw tumours eat bones

A seven-year-old is to have one of her legs amputated having fought a rare condition for her whole life.

Bunty Stalham has been in and out of hospital with neurofibromotosis type 2 since she was diagnosed at just six-months-old.

The condition means non-malignant tumours grow on nerve tissue inside the body, which has left the fibula bone in her left leg completely eaten away and the tibia crippled by pseudo arthiritis.

Bunty has undergone three operations a year to try and save her shin bone, but doctors now say they have exhausted all options.

They have taken the tough decision to remove her leg completely.

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Dad Dean is furious at the fact this was never mentioned as an option previously after holding on to hope for so long.

The 56-year-old said: "We were having trouble getting a diagnosis from our local GP in Surrey at the time who was saying she just had soft bones so I asked to bring a consultant in who recognised it immediately and sent us to Great Ormond Street where she was diagnosed at six months.

"She's been in and out of hospital her whole life for months on end. They've tried putting pins in, taking bone from her hip to create a new shin and concertinaed her leg but nothing has worked.

"We were never once told that amputation was even a possibility. It was never mentioned and they did not tell us the success rates of the operations they were doing. I thought she was going to get better.

"The consultant the other day told Bunty 'I know this isn't your dream leg but I'm going to you the next best thing which will make you happy' but Bunty didn't even know, she just wanted the leg gone as it has caused her so much pain over the years."

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Now Dean has started frantically fundraising to get his daughter the best prosthetic leg possible after receiving the devastating news on Wednesday.

Bunty lives with her mum Michelle Kerr, twin sister Esther and 11-year-old sister Poppy when in Margate, Kent.

Dean and Michelle split when Bunty was four due to the added pressure of being carers as well as parents.

The Ramsgate dad-of-three helped Bunty with everyday chores when she became wheelchair-bound for months on end after gruelling operations undertaken in desperate attempts to fix her leg.

He continued: "Bunty had to wear build up shoes like the Spice Girls as one leg is longer than the other due to the condition. We have to help her with everything like carrying her to the car and taking her to the toilet.

"But she is always dancing, jumping around, trampolining and we want ensure she is still able to do everything she wants to do.

"Some kids can be quite cruel but it's only due to ignorance and their age. But she is so open about her condition and never lets it get her down.

"Teachers at her school, who made it disability accessible and employed extra staff for her, said Bunty already told them 'the doctors are going to cut my leg off'.

"They asked her how she felt about that and apparently Bunty smiled, held her hands out and shrugged her shoulders.

Dean wants to raise £20,000 so he can take his daughter to America and "give her the best new leg possible" after the operation in mid April at Great Ormond Street hospital.

The community artist and writer added: "The NHS are amazing, the best in the world, but we want to give Bunty the best options possible.

"We're going to go over there and assess what is best for Bunty as that's what she deserves.

"It was quite hard for me to put the begging bowl out myself but everyone keeps telling me I should do it. The support that we have got so far is unbelievable."

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