Ga. high school soccer player’s leg partially amputated due to rare, sports-related condition

DALTON, Ga. — A Georgia soccer community is rallying around a high school player who lost part of his leg because of a rare disease.

Kenny Rangel, a 16-year-old student at Dalton High School, had a below-the-knee amputation this month at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville, Tenn. So far, a GoFundMe page has raised $13,000 to help the Rangel family.

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Kenny’s family says he started complaining about leg pain about a year ago and went to physical therapy for it. The pain has kept him from playing the game that he loves.

It took a turn for the worse in March and his pediatrician sent Kenny to a Chattanooga hospital. After several tests, the doctors diagnosed him with popliteal entrapment syndrome, also known as PAES.

Mayo Clinic says PAES affects the main artery that supplies blood below the knee. PAES is rare, but boys in their teens and men in their 20s are most likely to be diagnosed, especially if they are active athletes, according to the Mayo Clinic.

“In this condition, the calf muscle is in the wrong position or it’s larger than usual. The muscle presses on the artery. The artery becomes trapped, making it harder for blood to flow to the lower leg and foot.”


Kenny’s family says they were told that blood clots in his leg were there for a long time and caused “irreversible damage.” He had multiple procedures and three major surgeries, but nothing improved.

His family decides to transfer him to Vanderbilt for further treatment. After his toes got worse along with abnormal lab results, doctors had to perform a partial amputation to keep him from becoming septic.

“Thankfully with amazing nurses, doctors and supporting staff, they’ve helped Kenny make this new transition in his life,” his family wrote.

The GoFundMe donations will go toward a prosthetic, equipment and other costs that the family now has. You can donate by clicking here and read more about what causes PAES here.

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