kids

Little Girl With Cerebral Palsy Takes First Steps Without Cane, Excitedly Shouts ‘I’m Walking’

by Angela Andaloro

Maya Tisdale is beautiful and brave, and now she’s on the move.

The 4-year-old girl, who lives with cerebral palsy, celebrated an incredible special milestone as she took her first unassisted steps. “I’m walking!” she squeals with glee as she takes a few steps.

Maya was born as a micro preemie, weighing just 1 lb. 10 oz. She spent 87 days in the hospital before she was able to go home. As she grew, Maya’s mother, Ann Tisdale, noticed her motor skills weren’t developing. After some medical testing, Maya was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which causes spasticity and tightness in the hips, legs, and foot muscles.

Her condition hasn’t broken her spirit at all. The Mighty Miss Maya, as friends and family refer to her, has always been fierce and independent and ready to take her condition head-on. In May, Maya traveled from Detroit to St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri to undergo a special surgery. The selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery, performed by Dr. T. S. Park, aimed to reduce Maya’s spasticity, leaving her with greater mobility and less pain. Everyone is hopeful this will eventually lead to Maya being able to walk independently, but as a growing child, she has a long way to go. A GoFundMe page has been set up by her family to help with continuing care.

Even with all these possible struggles ahead of her, one look at Maya in this video lets you know the little girl will be OK. While Maya has walked before with the help of a walker, she defied the odds in taking these first steps. Not only did her family have no idea what was about to happen, but doctors thought she wouldn’t walk for six months after her May 9 procedure. The Might Miss Maya pulled it off in just seven weeks, a true testament to her unstoppable spirit.

Her mother told the Detroit Free Press just how much the milestone meant to them: “We were really just in shock because we didn’t think that it would happen for a long time, if ever, until seeing her doing it. Our jaws were on the floor and our eyes were super big. We were just really excited, but we didn’t want to start screaming and crying because we wanted her to keep practicing.”

Check out the video below, and see the joyous moment unfold for the Tisdale family.

Instagram/mightymissmaya via Storyful

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