Stories & Gratitude 2021-04-20
Limb salvage surgery of bone tumor performed in TVGH saves little girl from amputation

Taiwan Can Help, and Taiwan is Helping! 


A 17-year-old girl from a developed country in Southeast Asia was diagnosed with malignant osteosarcoma of the left femur with pathological fracture at the local hospital due to her left knee pain. Chemotherapy and amputation were recommended in local hospital.


As a professional physician, her father dreads to think what the life must be like of losing leg for such a young girl with great enthusiasm for sports and mountain climbing, therefore he has contacted our vice superintendent, Prof. Chen, Wei-Ming (陳威明副院長) , for emergency help. To control the epidemic, Taiwan extremely restricted entry for all international patients abroad that time, but considering there’s neither enough treatment experience of child osteosarcoma nor practiced doctor on biological reconstruction, and the outbreak was limited in her country, Prof. Chen produced an emergency request to Ministry of Health and Welfare with International medical Service Center, for making an all-out effort to pursue this surgery, save this young girl’s leg and life, and even recover the limb function.


The Ministry of Health and Welfare approved the entry permit within one week. However, the cancer has progressed rapidly and has severely damage the bones. Therefore, the vice superintendent, Prof. Chen recruited an in-hospital meeting, which was arranged by the Orthopedics Department, Emergency Department, Nursing Department, Chest Medicine Department, Pediatric Department, Operating Room, and Infection Control Department. The emergency surgery was initiated in the negative pressure isolation room on the 3rd day of her entry. The medical staff were fully armed, wearing protective clothing, isolation gowns, N95 masks, face masks and other layers of protection to successfully complete the operation.


The young girl recovered on 23 March in a stable condition after the surgery. Dr. Hong, Giun-Yi (洪君儀) of the Department of Pediatric began to take over and assist in the chemotherapy. It is expected that she will return to her hometown after the treatment in August.