TRAVERSE CITY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) — A 4-year-old northern Michigan girl is making big strides, two months after receiving life-changing surgery.
“They noticed that she was falling behind on some of her motor mile stones,” said Ann Tisdale, Maya’s mother.
Maya received selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery in May.
“During the surgery they open up the spine they test all the nerves and essentially cut the ones that are the most spastic,” Ann said.
Doctors said it was unclear how long it would take her to recover.
“It takes kids a while to recover after because they actually have to build real muscle,” Ann said.
She was able to take her first steps on her own two months later. A viral video shows those first steps and Maya’s genuine excitement.
“Just the joy on her face, it was incredible,” Ann said.
Prior to taking those steps and her surgery the 4-year-old mostly used her canes, walker or a doll stroller to get around.
Maya was born premature, so it’s been quite a journey for the Tisdale family.
“She was considered a micro-preemie she was one pound 10 ounces she was born almost four months early,” said Ann. “She’s kind of always been a little fighter.”
Several days after her first steps, she continues to enjoy her favorite hobby; teasing her older brothers, Wes and Jack.
The family has gained much support from the community, as individuals and businesses donated money and held fundraisers to help the family with therapy after the surgery.
“It’s unbelievable the people that wanted to be a part of this in one way or another,” said Toby Tisdale, Maya’s father.
“So we really wanted to share Maya’s first steps, just to say thank you for helping us get here,” Ann said.
Maya continues to take on new opportunities, one step at a time living up to her nickname, Mighty Miss Maya.
Maya goes to therapy five days a week.
The family continues to work with her at home and do recommended exercises and of course that includes play time with her older brothers.
A website was set up for donations to help the Tisdale family and Maya’s therapy.