Alexander Helander with his one-year-old son Samuel (Image: Emmy Helander / SWNS.COM)

Our free email newsletter sends you the biggest headlines from news, sport and showbiz

Sign upWhen you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters. Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer. OurPrivacy Noticeexplains more about how we use your data, and your rights. You can unsubscribe at any time.Thank you for subscribingWe have more newslettersShow meSee ourprivacy noticeInvalid Email

A dad who chose to have both his legs amputated after developing painful tumours on his feet said it is the "best decision he ever made."

Alexander Helander, 29, opted for below the knee amputations as it meant he could finally chase after his one-year-old son Samuel.

The school teacher first developed new tumours, often the size of golf balls, every week six years ago.

At times they were so painful he could barely walk and, facing early retirement, he opted to have the risky op in a bid to give him more freedom.

Surgeons warned him he could end up in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, but Alexander took the chance.

Alexander Helander voluntarily had both his legs amputated
(Image: Stefan Wallnerström / SWNS.COM)

Read More
Related Articles


  • Coronavirus briefing newsletter – a daily update with everything you need to know

Read More
Related Articles


  • Food factory boss 'took bets on how many workers would contract coronavirus'

Nine months on, he's never felt better, and thanks to prosthetic running blades he is back jogging and chasing after his son.

Alexander, who is expecting another son with pregnant wife Emmy, said: "Before my amputations, my feet were in such bad shape from the tumours that I had no choice but to amputate.

"We had tried every treatment and nothing worked.

"My alternative was to retire from work and lay in bed for the rest of my life – and I wasn't ready to give up on life like that.

Alexander with his son Samuel
(Image: Emmy Helander / SWNS.COM)

Alexander said it was the "best decision he ever made"
(Image: Emmy Helander / SWNS.COM)

Read More
Related Articles


  • Christmas lockdown break splits the nation amid fears it will add 'fuel to the fire'

"Having my two amputations was a long and painful process, and building up to walking on prosthetics took a long time, but it was so worth it.

"Having the amputations meant that now I can do all the things I enjoy, like sit-skiing, floorball and even running with my blades on – which is the best feeling ever!

"I feel like I'm part of society again now. I'm going back into work for a few hours a week, and the pupils I teach think my prosthetics are really cool.

"Overall, having the amputations was the best decision I ever made."

Alexander with wife Emmy before either leg was amputated
(Image: Emmy Helander / SWNS.COM)

The school teacher voluntarily had both his legs amputated
(Image: Emmy Helander / SWNS.COM)

Alexander from Löddeköpinge, Sweden, suffered with a condition called Dupuytrens contracture since aged 15.

It causes non-cancerous tumours in his hands – but a more severe form of the condition spread to his feet in 2014.

He wasn't able to put pressure on his feet due to the pain – and he would discover new tumours every week.

Medics tried laser treatments and even radiotherapy but nothing worked and by 2018 he was using a wheelchair.

Alexander was using a wheelchair before the risky op
(Image: Emmy Helander / SWNS.COM)

The 29-year-old said he has no regrets
(Image: Emmy Helander / SWNS.COM)

He said: "Every time we tried a new treatment I'd get my hopes up, but they never worked – that was a real low point for me."

Doctors warned amputation was risky and could leave him in a wheelchair, but he added: "It was worth the risk for me.

"I told them that's what I would be doing without the amputations anyway.

"I couldn't be active and I didn't have much of a social life by this point either, so this was my last chance to get my life back."

Alexander started to walk using prosthetics four weeks after
(Image: Emmy Helander / SWNS.COM)

Alexander can now chase after Samuel
(Image: Emmy Helander / SWNS.COM)

In October 2019, doctors removed his right leg and he said it was "painful as hell" when the anaesthetic wore off.

His second amputation was done in mid-February 2020.

He said: "Before the second surgery, I wasn't even nervous – I was just excited."

Just four weeks later Alexander started to walk using prosthetics, in August he went back to work, and in October he was able to start running.

Alexander will become a dad for the second time in February 2021
(Image: Emmy Helander / SWNS.COM)

A cute video shows his baby son copying his dad when he sees him jumping in his running blades.

He said: "The first time using both my prosthetics was strange, like walking on very small stilts. But it was amazing not to have the pain in my feet like I used to have."

His wife Emmy is due to give birth to their second son in February 2021.

He said: "I have a lot of people write to me and tell me they find me inspiring, which is amazing.

"I know not everyone has the power to change their situation in the way I did, but I hope my story inspires people to try to change their own lives for the better, even if it's hard work.

"I want my sons to see they should never give up, even when things are hard – life can be so much fun as long as you fight for what you want."

"I don't regret a single thing – my amputations gave me my life back!"