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4-year-old with cerebral palsy celebrates after taking first independent steps

09 July 2018

Prior to Maya turning 2 years old, Maya was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which causes the muscles in her hips, legs, and feet to become tight or spastic.

Maya's parents and brother can be heard encouraging the youngster as she finally stands up - and after she takes a shaky step, Maya's face breaks into a beaming smile.

Her family calls her their "Mighty Girl" and we can absolutely see why.

So when she finally took her first steps at the Tisdale's home in Traverse City, Michigan, it was an emotional moment for the entire family.

"I'm walking!", Maya says.

"Now that her spasticity is gone (or almost gone) she is able to do so many things that we never thought possible and is clearly more comfortable and happy", says Maya's parents.

"I'm walking!" Maya says, smiling and laughing before adding: "Yes!"

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Maya's mother, Ann Tisdale, stated that despite her daughter's diagnosis, Maya remained very independent and wanted to do everything that her older brothers do.

In May, she and her family traveled to St. Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri, where she underwent a surgical procedure called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR).

Maya previously walked with support.

The predicted timeline was around six months, but on July 1, about seven weeks post-surgery, Maya took her first steps.

Tisdale said after the surgery, Maya's doctor had told them that she'd be able to walk "someday" but not without grueling, daily physical therapy. "But to just have those first steps and knowing that it's possible is so great for her and our family".

Ann wrote a moving caption to go with the video: "First steps - 4 years, 10 months". She still has the damage in her brain and she still has some tightness in her legs.

She spends several weeks in physical therapy.

4-year-old with cerebral palsy celebrates after taking first independent steps