NORTHFIELD, Ohio – One year after an Ohio girl lost her leg to complications from strep throat and the flu, she is back doing what she loves most – dancing.
Tessa Puma is back on stage, thanks to a new prosthetic leg, and her family is thanking the community for their support.
"I get to perform my dances," the 7-year-old said with a smile. "I love dancing so much because we get to wear these really cool costumes."
Friday marked her first big hometown performance. It was more than a recital of her hip-hop dance; it cemented a step in a new direction for a fighter who never stopped dancing in her spirit even in her darkest of days.
"There was a 20 percent chance she would live, so you think there's an 80 percent chance she would die," said Matt Puma, Tessa's dad.
He said, through all the heartbreak and pain, his daughter persevered, just like he always believed she would.
"We knew that Tessa, as long as she could pull through it, could accomplish anything," her father said.
As a crowd filled the auditorium at Nordonia High School on Friday evening to witness The Center Stage Dance Studio competition, when Tessa took the stage, it seemed like it was meant for her all along.