Meet Tessa Puma: a talented and inspiring dancer who won’t let anything stand in her way!
Tessa has always loved dancing more than anything in the world. She began taking dancing classes when she was a toddler, and by the time she was five years old, she was winning dance competitions.
When Tessa was six, she got sick. Her parents thought it was the flu at first, but it turned out to be a potentially fatal infection.
Tessa’s parents rushed her to the hospital, but the infection was already spreading. Within 15 hours, it had spread through the whole left side of her body. The doctors had to amputate her left leg, and they also had to give her skin grafts. The doctors gave Tessa a 20 percent chance of survival.
Thankfully, Tessa pulled through. After two-and-a-months in the hospital, Tessa was able to go home.
Tessa’s parents simply hoped she would be able to walk again one day, but Tessa had bigger dreams: she was going to dance again.
“I didn’t think she was ever going to be able to walk,” Tessa’s dad Chris Reid told News 5 Cleveland.
Tessa’s dad Chris Reid worried that Tessa would have to spend her life in a wheelchair, but she quickly defied expectations. At breakneck speed, Tessa moved from a wheelchair to a walker to a cane. All the while, the doctors at Hanger Clinic worked with her to find a prosthetic that would work for needs.
The doctors wanted to help Tessa dance again, and so they created a prosthetic she could move in. They also decorated it with mermaid scales—perfect for a little girl who loved bright colors.
“[The prosthetic leg] was really hard to get used to,” Tessa said. “But the more and more I did it, it got easier.”
Learning to dance was extremely difficult and painful, but Tessa was determined. Her dance teacher said the amputated leg didn’t slow the little girl down at all!
Tessa was also an accomplished gymnast before she lost her leg, and she decided she also didn’t want to give that up. With lots of hard work, Tessa learned how to do amazing back handsprings.
In her spare time, Tessa also plays softball. This little girl has amazing amounts of energy!
“Never give up,” Tessa told CBS News.
About a year-and-a-half after losing her leg, Tessa won a national dance competition. The young dancer has some incredible skills!
Tessa also knows exactly what she wants to do when she grows up:
“Be a dance teacher,” she said.
Tessa’s mom Tina shares videos and photos of her daughter’s dance routines on her Facebook page. These photos show what an amazing dancer Tessa is. Check out this amazing handstand!
Tessa is a great dancer with a truly inspiring story. If you want to learn more about Tessa, check out the video below.
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Source: CBS Evening News