Doctors reattach young cancer patient's amputated leg the wrong way around so she can dance again

Cheryl Kahla
Aug 29, 2018
12:28 A.M.
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Gabi Shull's leg was amputated when she was nine years old, and she thought her dancing career was over. 


A groundbreaking surgery changed her life. As reported by Pop Sugar Entertainment, the aspiring ballet dancer was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. 

It's a bone cancer that affects the knee and she was diagnosed after taking dance lessons for three years. Read more on our Twitter account, @amomama_usa. 

The video detailing her road to recovery and career as a professional dancer can be seen below. Shull also explains the intricacies of the surgery in a video interview. 


To keep her dream alive, a team of surgeons reattached her calf and foot to her upper leg by rotating it 180 degrees. 

Even though her foot now faces backward, the ankle serves as a knee which gives her all the mobility she needs to  be practically any type of dancer. 


The now 17-year-old received a custom-made pointe foot two years ago which allowed her to dance on her tiptoes. 

Apart from ballet dancing, Shull also does contemporary dance, jazz, tap-dancing and even hip-hop, proving that hard work, determination and access to cutting-edge technology pays off. 


Dancing is her passion, and Shull hopes to inspire others to overcome whatever obstacles might be keeping them back from living life to the fullest. 

She said: "What motivated me to walk was the thought of dancing again because I just wanted to dance."


Shull said that the surgery changed her life in ways she couldn't even begin to comprehend back them, adding that she "would never go back and change it."

Her mother Debbie also remarked that her family even forgets at times that she is wearing a prosthetic. The proud mother said "she has done so much more than anybody expected."

Dance can be very therapeutic, and the father of a 2-year-old leukemia patient knew that. Earlier this month, he surprised his daughter with a daddy-daughter dance in hospital. 

The young girl has to undergo aggressive chemotherapy, and her doting dad knew that it was hard on the toddler to stay cheery despite it all. Read more about it here.