7-year-old Ohio girl wins dance competitions after losing her leg

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SUMMIT COUNTY, Ohio (WCMH) – Despite losing her leg to a rare form of strep, a 7-year-old Ohio girl is dancing on.

“I know I can get through it. Even if it’s hard,” Tessa Puma told WEWS.

About a year and a half ago, a case of strep throat led to a rare and terrifying infection in her leg. She was given a 20 percent chance to live.

She beat the odds, but her leg had to be amputated.

“I didn’t think she was going to be able to walk. I thought she was going to permanently be in a wheelchair,” Tessa’s dad, Matt Puma, said.

Tessa is now doing more than that.

After Hanger Prosthetics made a special prosthetic leg, Tessa was able to go to dance camp.

“It was a bit of a daunting task, just because of the demand she puts on the prosthesis,” Adam Engstrom of Hanger Prosthetics said.

Tessa and her teammates won first place at the Star System’s Dance Championships in Nashville, WJW reported. She also placed in the top two in two other competitions over the summer.

Tessa has also been swimming, hoverboarding and playing softball.

“I just like summer and I don’t want to go back to school,”  Tessa  told WJW, “Yeah, too much fun, too much fun.”

Tessa has a message for anyone else going through a tough time.

“Just keep on trying your best!” she said.

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