Russian teen going home after Calif. doctors save leg

Valya Andreeva is walking again and flies home to Russia today to start the next chapter of her life.

Andreeva, who grew up as an orphan in Russia, was in danger of losing her right leg when two relief organizations brought her to the Modesto area in February. In August 2006, she suffered a compound fracture when a motorcycle struck her in a rural area of Russia.

She didn't receive prompt treatment, which prevented the infected broken bones from mending, and Russian doctors said they would have to amputate.

The Sonora-based Russian Orphan Rescue Inc. and the Medical Relief Foundation of Modesto arranged for her to have surgery at Doctors Medical Center. A team led by Dr. John Casey, a Modesto orthopedic surgeon, performed the surgery in April, successfully fusing the broken bones.

Andreeva, 19, stopped using crutches 3½ weeks ago and is walking with a slight limp. She was all smiles Monday when she returned to DMC to thank the hospital staff and say goodbye.

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