Northeast Ohio continues to rally around little girl who lost left leg

Posted at 9:48 AM, Jul 09, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-09 09:49:22-04

The community continues to rally around a little girl now learning to live without one of her legs.

Tessa Puma got the VIP treatment Saturday at Northfield Race Track.

Walking up to the track with a cane and prosthetic leg you could hear the 6-year old tell her family how cool it looked.

She lost her left leg after a case of strep throat and flu led to a serious infection.

At the track, for a few moments, the little girl could forget about the rare, tragic hand she was dealt earlier this year.

"She's doing very well with walking, progressing with it," said Matt Puma, Tessa’s dad.

A blinged-out helmet, glasses and gloves transformed Tessa into a professional driver.

It only took Tessa one lap to fall in the love with the sport. Her co-pilot sent them around for a second spin.

Her family was waiting for her at the finish line, where she told her dad she wanted to go faster and faster.

Another four-legged animal, a pony, helped Tessa during her recovery at the hospital, so her dad tells News 5 she was extra excited about this opportunity.

"To come here and ride on a horse, it was a huge experience for her," said Puma.

An experience Megan Angus, who does not even know the Pumas, made possible.

She works at the racetrack and tells News 5 she is inspired by this brave little girl.

"She never let it get her down. She was always striving forward to the next progression. Seeing her today, she's amazing," said Angus.

For the Pumas, this was just another example of how much their neighbors in Northeast Ohio care.

"We're blown away. The community keeps outreaching us, doing these beautiful activities," said Puma.