JUL 10, 2018 5:22 AM PDT

At Four Years Old, This Girl Takes Her First Steps

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a neurological condition that is usually present at birth. It’s common in children born prematurely. For one little girl, Maya Tisdale of Traverse City, Michigan, it’s been just one more fight she’s had to win since being born 4 months early. She was a “micro-preemie” weighing just 1 pound, ten ounces at birth. She’s always needed assistance to walk, but recently underwent a surgical procedure called selective dorsal rhizotomy. It’s a complex procedure that eliminates nerve roots that are not working properly due to CP and leaves the healthy nerve roots to grow and do the work of moving muscles.

Maya, dubbed Mighty Miss Maya by her parents, was expected to walk by about 6 months post-surgery, but after only 7 weeks she was able to take her first steps, captured on video by her mother. CP is the most common motor disability in childhood. One in 323 children will be diagnosed with the disorder. While many are able to walk, the disease impacts the whole body. It can sometimes appear along with epilepsy or other neurological delays. While Maya continues to recover and get stronger, millions have seen her take these miraculous steps and are cheering her on.

About the Author
  • I'm a writer living in the Boston area. My interests include cancer research, cardiology and neuroscience. I want to be part of using the Internet and social media to educate professionals and patients in a collaborative environment.
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