Necrotizing Fasciitis: Why 6-Year-Old Aspiring Dancer Loses One Leg After Strep Throat Complication

By Claire Parker, Parent Herald April 05, 10:23 am
Tessa Puma with a partner at a dance in an undated photo. Her left leg was amputated due to strep throat infection and complication.
(Photo : Inside Edition/YouTube)

Another strep throat complication case led to the amputation of one of the legs of a six-year-old girl. The Ohio girl dreamt of being a dancer.

Doctors diagnosed the girl, Tessa Puma, with strep throat and gave her antibiotics. A week after, Puma complained to her parents about pain on her legs and arms.

Tessa's parents took her to different hospitals and a doctor found a complication form her strep throat, the flesh-eating bacteria that caused the disease called necrotizing fasciitis. It could spread quickly all over a person's body so Tess's father, Matt, decided to have her undergo tests.

After the tests, doctors confirmed she had the bacteria and at one point, touching her leg made her scream in pain. Doctors performed a surgery to relieve the swelling but they found the bacteria damager her left leg, parts of her shoulder and parts of her back.

Doctors found out the left leg of Tessa no longer had a pulse so they concluded there were numerous dead tissues. They had to amputate her left leg starting from the knee down, ABC News shared.

The six-year-old is part of the dance group called Center Stage Dance Studio and her fellow dancers sent her well wishes on Monday. Her dance instructor, Stacey Kopec, has nothing but kind words to say about Tessa.

"She's only 6 years old and we knew when she was probably 4, so at least for two years, we knew she was just such a superstar, she was born to dance." Kopec said. She also admitted that Tessa's death is the most devastating incident in her 28 years of teaching, WGN TV.com reported.

It remained unclear if Tessa's other leg will get amputated as well. Her family said they received news doctors found a problem on her right leg. She remained at Akron Children's Hospital for other tests.

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