Maya Tisdale was born four months early, weighing only 1 pound, 10 ounces. But her will to live was strong, and she soon earned the nickname “Mighty Miss Maya” while in the hospital. Unfortunately, an early birth wasn’t the last challenge she was forced to come up against.
At 2 years old, she was diagnosed with a rare type of cerebral palsy called spastic diplegia cerebral palsy. According to a fundraising website set up for the Tisdale family, “Maya’s type of CP causes the muscles in her hips, legs and feet to be tight or spastic. Because of her CP, Maya is currently unable to stand on her own for more than a few seconds, or walk without the use of walker.”
But the website also states that little Maya doesn’t let that stop her!
“Despite these challenges,” they write, “Maya gives it her all every day. If her brothers play baseball, she plays baseball; if her friends are climbing a snow bank, she’s right behind them in her walker. She has an incredible will and a tenacious attitude.”
The little girl’s fighting spirit is precisely what caused her parents to seek out new options for their daughter. According to ABC News, the now-4-year-old was considered an ideal candidate for a surgical procedure called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy. The family was told that recovery from the procedure can be a long road — a road lined with many physical therapy appointments — all with the hopes that “someday” the little girl might be able to walk. But despite the challenges that still lay ahead of them, they decided to go forward with the procedure, and Maya underwent the surgery in May.
The family has been documenting the journey on social media and, on July 1, the little girl hit a major milestone. She took her first unassisted steps at the age of 4 years and 10 months. Thankfully, the family caught the moment on video:
“I can’t even put into words how we are feeling. Nothing seems to fit the enormity of this moment for us. We are beyond proud of our Mighty Girl,” the post’s caption reads.
The 4-year-old is absolutely ecstatic in the video. She exclaims, “I’m walking!” and even claims, “I can do it,” when her mom asks if she needs one of her canes.
And no one is more surprised and amazed by the little girl’s strength and progress than her parents:
“We expected where Maya was before surgery that it would take her at least six months to a year to get to independent steps and here we are seven weeks after. … She’s just kind of blowing it out of the water,” mom Ann Tisdale told ABC News.
The mom also points out that there’s still a long road ahead of the family, but for now — Mighty Miss Maya is exceeding expectations.
Clearly, this little girl can do anything she puts her mind to! Way to go, Maya!