• Dr. Herpy

Inspiring 10-Year-Old Dancer-Tessa Puma

I interviewed my dance little sis, Tessa Puma on March 23, 2021. I thought I’d tell you guys about Tessa’s story! Tessa is the most inspirational ten-year-old girl I have ever met! Almost four years ago, Tessa was in the hospital with strep throat. The strep ended up transferring down to her leg and got it infected. She was six years old when her left leg was amputated. I’ve never met someone as strong as she is! 

I asked her if she had remembered when she first got sick, and what she felt like, and she said, “All I remembered was feeling like my leg got beat up and my head hurt really bad.” As a six-year-old, I would be so traumatized every time I would tell someone but Tessa is so confident about it. Tessa was in the hospital for about three and a half months and told her parents that she was going to get right back to dancing again once she got out of the hospital. “I knew I wanted to keep doing it even though it would take a little while. I would never give something up that I’ve loved so much!”, said Tessa. But, before even thinking about this she needed to start physical therapy.

Tessa told her family that she didn’t want to do physical therapy and that it was going to be weird. They told her if she wanted to start dancing again then physical therapy will help so much. She started physical therapy and the most difficult part about it was, “learning to walk again.” She also said that “It was hard to get back my balance and use my muscles since I hadn’t used them in almost four months.” 

I asked Tessa what the first thing was that she did at home and her reply was, “I went to see my doggies and hugged them. I missed them so much. And after that I called everyone and told them I was going to get through this strongly!” Tessa is the most inspiring person I know! I honestly wasn’t surprised when I heard she is going to be dancing again!

Ever since Tessa was little she was such a hard worker and never gave up. I remember around a week before she went into the hospital she ran up to me and told me she had gotten her double back handspring. Guess what she has now…her double back handspring! Yes her double back handspring. Her goal was to get it back and she did. Everyone needs to have the brain of this girl! What I’ve learned from Tessa is that I always need to keep trying and never give up! Giving up will never get you anywhere in life.