New Jersey Man's Leg Rebuilt

WEMZ-TV 69News—November 3, 2008

It's the kind of news no parent wants to hear. After a serious accident, one New Jersey mom was told her son's leg might be amputated. But her determination drove her to find an alternative. WFMZ's Jaccii Farris has the story.

FARRIS: Like the bionic man...Craig Palumbo has been rebuilt. And he's got the x-rays to prove it. It was shattered.

FARRIS: June 24th 2002...Craig was hit head on by a tractor trailer while driving on route 31.

CRAIG PALUMBO: I lost about 5-6 inches of the femur from the knee up broke it completely it shot out of my leg and landed in the back seat of the car.

FARRIS: It took an hour to get Craig out of the car and airlifted to a local hospital.

KAREN PALUMBO: They wanted to either amputate the leg or the promotion they were going for was leg fusion.

FARRIS: His mother Karen knew there had to be a way to save her son's leg. So she called specialists across the country... Not knowing that the solution she needed was just over the fence. A neighbor heard about Craig's medical crisis and hooked the Palumbo's up with Dr. David Helfet at Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan. Helfet used bone from Craig's hip and lower leg to rebuild his femur. Now 6 years later, Craig has nearly full use of his leg...and a new outlook on life. Don't sweat the small stuff. Pretty much, just never take anything for granted.

FARRIS: Karen Palumbo says that's a lesson she hopes other families dealing with a medical crisis will take from her son's experience.

KAREN PALUMBO: Never to give up I mean really in the medical world please always look for a second opinion.

FARRIS: In Oxford.. Warren County.. New Jersey.. Jaccii Farris 69 News.

Story originally published at


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