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Jamari’s Story: One Healthy Childhood

Paul Kent, MD, helps a pediatric oncology patient at Rush.

Like many osteosarcoma patients, 8-year-old Jamari Sanders faced the possibility of a full limb amputation during his treatment for this aggressive bone cancer.

After evaluating his case, though, pediatric oncologist Paul Kent, MD, and orthopedic surgeon Matthew Colman, MD, knew there was another option that could provide him a more active life: a rare procedure known as rotationplasty.

They removed Jamari’s entire right femur and rotated his leg 180 degrees from below the knee before reattaching it, permanently turning his ankle joint into his knee joint. Jamari left the operating room with two functioning joints, whereas a full limb amputation would’ve left him with none.

A positive yet overwhelming experience, one of his constant sources of motivation was Rush University Children’s Hospital’s Child Life Services team — helping Jamari and his family make sense of his new reality.

“Rush helped us make the most courageous decision of my son’s life,” says Jamari’s mother, Sharenne Shumate. “But they prepared him for everything, mentally and physically — and now, he’s stronger than all of us.”

September 10, 2017