Six-year-old Ohio dancer loses leg to strep

NORTHFIELD, OH (WCMH) — Young dancers from the Center Stage Dance Studio in Northfield send out well-wishes to 6-year-old Tessa Pump.

Her dance instructor, Stacey Kopeck, describes her as a phenom.

“She’s only 6 years old and we knew when she was probably 4 so at least for 2 years, that we knew she was just such a superstar, she was born to dance,” Kopeck said.

In the beginning of March, the 6-year-old 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 we’ve had to go through,” Kopeck said.

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,” she said.

Thomas 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,” Thomas said. “I love her and I hope she gets well soon and we all miss her.”

“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 been a huge hit to our whole dance family,” Kopeck added.

Tessa’s family reports that the 6-year-old is having trouble with her other leg, but they did not elaborate.

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