Strep throat takes tragic turn as 6-year-old dancer loses leg to infection

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NORTHFIELD, Ohio – Prayers are going out for a six-year-old girl who lost her leg after a bout with strep throat and the flu led to a life-threatening infection. Dancing is her passion and her fellow dancers are showing an outpouring of support for her recovery.

Young dancers from the Center Stage Dance Studio in Northfield sent out well-wishes Monday evening to six-year-old Tessa Puma.

Her dance instructor describes her as a phenom.

“She’s only six years old and we knew when she was probably four, so at least for two years, that we knew she was just such a superstar, she was born to dance,” said instructor Stacey Kopec.

In the beginning of March, Tessa was treated for strep throat, then last week she got the flu. Friday night, her leg began to swell up…her parents took her to Akron Children’s Hospital, where doctors found an infection that forced them to amputate her leg.

“In the 28 years that I’ve been teaching dance, this is the most devastating thing that we’ve had to go through,” said Kopec.

Tessa’s instructor says she loves to tumble, and dance to jazz and hip hop. Her big dance sister, Chloe Thomas, says she always lights up a room.

“She is full of energy, she’s like always smiling and like, I’m never sad when I think of her, just so happy all the time,” said Thomas.

Chloe says she visited Tessa in the hospital to show her how much she and her fellow dancers care.

“Every Thursday, she has ballet and I always give her a piggy back ride and take her to ballet…I love her and I hope she gets well soon and we all miss her,” Thomas said.

“We understand that passion that she has and the joy she’s brought us, just from watching her dance and being around her, it has just been extraordinary, so this has just been a huge hit to our whole dance family,” said Kopec.

Tessa’s fellow dancers created a huge banner wishing her a speedy recovery.

Unfortunately, late Monday evening, Tessa’s family received news that there is a problem with her other leg.

The family is asking for prayers and need support.

Anyone can make a donation at this You Caring site. 

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