Cailey Wu walks out of Sydney Children’s Hospital after being told she may never walk again
See the incredible moment a determined 11-year-old girl who was told she may never walk again proves her doctors wrong
- Tumour left young girl paralysed from the waist down
- She fought her way out of a wheelchair and back on her feet
A year ago, doctors feared Cailey Wu would never walk again, after a tumour left her with a spinal injury and paralysed from the waist down.
The brave young battler, 11, from Penshurst in Sydney’s south, had emergency surgery to remove the growth which was later discovered to be Ewing sarcoma – a rare cancer most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults.
She then had to go through month after month of radiation and chemotherapy while confined to a wheelchair in a desperate bid to save her life.
But she never gave up hope and after a year of treatment and painstaking rehabilitation, she miraculously walked out of Sydney Children’s Hospital this week and is headed back to school.
A year ago, doctors feared Cailey Wu (pictured) would never walk again after a tumour left her with a spinal injury and paralysed from the waist down
Cailey Wu’s (pictured) physiotherapist said she initially had no movement at all in her legs
What is Ewing sarcoma?
Ewing sarcoma is a type of tumour that forms from a certain kind of cell in bone or soft tissue.
Signs and symptoms of Ewing sarcoma include swelling and pain near the tumour.
Tests that examine the bone and soft tissue are used to diagnose the tumour.
Her incredible recovery has stunned hospital staff, who were with her every step of the way through the traumatic journey.
‘When I first saw her after spinal surgery she had no movement at all in her legs,’ Physiotherapist Sky Fosbrook told 9News.
‘She went from coming in using a wheelchair to independently using crutches.
‘It was just amazing.’
The tumour had put pressure on the little girl’s spinal cord to point where it damaged the nerves and left her unable to move from waist down.
‘It was a bit scary, I didn’t really know what was happening,’ Cailey said.
Simply removing it however, was only half the battle as she now had to learn to walk all over again.
On top of the eight months of intensive radiation and chemotherapy to treat the cancer, she also began gruelling rehabilitation exercises to get the nerves in her legs firing again.
Cailey Wu is pictured before being diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma
During that time, Sydney Children’s Hospital in Randwick became a second home for the Wu family.
Her dad Dan said it turned the family’s world upside down.
‘One day everything’s fine and then suddenly we’re in hospital,’ he said.
But Cailey defied all the odds and is now in remission and has just started back at school.
Although medical staff have warned her there may be a few more bumps in the road before she is fully healed, they have no doubt she will be ready to take them on.
‘It’s so good. We couldn’t have hoped for more really,’ her mum Gemma said with a proud smile for her brave daughter.
Cailey, who is now in remission, is pictured with her brother Blake, dad Dan and mum Gemma