North County boy chooses amputation of leg over wheelchair and lifetime of pain

Tells classmates of upcoming surgery

VISTA, Calif. - With his Tri-City Christian School classmates gathered around, Andrew Seelhoff and his mother had an important announcement to share.

“Andrew has made a very brave decision: to have the diseased portion of his leg amputated and that is going to happen this June,” said Andrew’s mother, Mary Seelhoff.

She also directed some heart-felt words at her son.

“You're an amazing kid, an amazing friend, and we are in awe of you,” she said. “You're very brave and we're here to support you and we’re very, very proud of you.”

The past seven years have been difficult. Andrew suffers from a vascular malformation in his right leg. He spends much of his time in a wheelchair, plus there is constant pain.

He also has tremendous support from his family and friends and new friend Travis Ricks, who lost a leg to cancer himself and who now inspires others as part of the Challenged Athletes Foundation. 

“Andrew's no different. Because he's losing his leg, he isn't changing. He's still going to be the same guy that he is … probably be more active than he was so don't forget to involve him in whatever you're doing,” said Travis.

Andrew is an 8th grader who wants a normal life.

“I just decided, well, it's never going to get better,” he said. “We'd have to wait for a cure or just get rid of it once and for all.”

When asked if he was scared, he responded, “I’m scared … excited.” 

His mother echoed that sentiment.

“I’m very optimistic,” she said. “I’m excited for him to start his new life.”

Andrew was presented a prayer quilt, a symbol of love and faith.

Surgery is scheduled in June at Rady Children's Hospital.      

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