Life changed forever for Flynn and his parents, Ashle and Mitchell, when he was recommended surgery to remove a lump on the palm of his hand in March 2020.

When surgeons were unable to remove the lump, as whatever it was had wrapped itself around Flynn’s muscles and nerves, a biopsy was taken and sent for testing. A week later, his parents were given the news that Flynn had an extremely rare cancer called epithelioid sarcoma.

Epithelioid sarcoma is a slow-growing type of soft tissue cancer, commonly found in the finger, hand, forearms, lower legs, or feet.

Flynn was transferred to Queensland Children’s Hospital, where he underwent an MRI, CT scan and PET scan over two weeks. Three teams of doctors, including an oncology team, a plastics team and an amputation team met with the family when it was determined that Flynn would have to have his pinkie and ring finger amputated, all the way up to his wrist.

He also had a free muscle and skin flap put on to cover the amputation site, so the remainder of his hand and fingers could be preserved. The total surgery time was nine hours.

“We were so nervous, anxious and stressed, at the end of the day, we just wanted our little man to be OK and go back to enjoying life like any other eight-year-old,” Ashle said.

“Flynn has been extremely brave throughout the journey, and he hasn’t once complained about his situation. We have had so much support from friends and family, as well as everyone at the Children’s Hospital Foundation who have worked hard to keep a smile on his face.”

While in hospital Flynn loved spending time in Kidzone, meeting other kids going through similar situations was very helpful for him.

Flynn loves soccer, bike riding, skate boarding, reading joke books and drawing, and one of his most memorable moments in hospital was being able to walk up to the garden and sketching while he was looking out over the city.

Flynn is currently recovering well and sees his medical teams on a regular basis to monitor his progress and check the cancer hasn’t returned.

In May this year, Flynn had his big one-year post diagnosis scans which involved an MRI of his right hand, an ultrasound of his under arm and a CT scan of his chest. We are delighted to share that all his results came back all clear, and he will just require a follow up MRI every three months for the next year.

Flynn will continue to see his occupational therapy team at the hospital once a month, where they are investigating if it is possible to permanently remove the guard from his hand.  He will also continue with visits to his amputation team every three months.  Flynn now has the option of whether he wants to go back and have further surgery’s for cosmetic looks.

Ashle told us “Flynn is doing really well at school. He has had amazing support from all the teachers and especially from all his friends. Whenever he is away everyone gets concerned and they love seeing him back at school with good news.”

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