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Middlesbrough girl, 11, saved with help of 3-D model of tumour

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image copyrightFamily photograph
image captionRuby, who is in remission, is keen to resume her passion in life - football

An 11-year-old girl was saved by "one of the first operations of its kind" when surgeons removed a tumour after making a 3-D model of the growth.

Ruby Wilson, from Middlesbrough, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer in February and given only a slim chance of surviving the operation.

Surgeons were even not sure if removing the 10cm growth, which was compressing Ruby's vital organs, was possible.

Now Ruby wants to resume following her dream of becoming a footballer.

Ruby, who had mesenchymal chondrosarcoma, had to spend the last seven months in hospital in Newcastle at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

image copyrightNewcastle Hospitals Trust
image captionSurgeons made a 3-D model of Ruby's chest to assist them - the green mass is the large tumour next to her heart (red centre)

Her mother, Sarah Bowcock, said: "Ruby's incredible, amazing. She's been my rock, no matter what she was going through she was my support on bad days.

"I know it was a tricky procedure but I had to take that chance as it was the only hope that Ruby was going to get.

"All my prayers have been answered and all my dreams have come true."

image copyrightFamily photograph
image captionRuby spent seven months in hospital during the coronavirus pandemic

The six-strong team at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary and the Freeman Hospital included heart and lung, plastic, and spinal orthopaedic surgeons.

The two-part procedure involved removing the tumour then reconstructing the chest wall where the growth had been pressing on Ruby's spine, heart and lungs.

Ruby's oncologist, Dr Quentin Campbell-Henson, from the Great North Children's Hospital, said the procedure was extremely "tricky" and the team was not even sure at first if it would be possible.

He said: "It was one of the first operations of its kind and Newcastle was one of just a few places in the world where it can be carried out.

"The team and the expertise we were able to bring to bear on this tumour was incredible - I don't think there is a team that is better in the world."

image captionRuby spent her 11th birthday in hospital

As is traditional, when Ruby's treatment was finished she got to ring a special bell at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary and Ms Bowcock said she was "ecstatic".

Spending so much time in hospital, Rudy has missed playing her number one passion, football.

Ruby said: "My aim is to get back to where I was and become a professional one day."

image copyrightFamily photograph
image captionWhen Ruby's treatment was finished she got to ring a special bell at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary

Related Topics

  • Childhood cancer
  • Newcastle upon Tyne

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