'I'm walking': Heartwarming moment girl, 4, with cerebral palsy takes first steps

2018 Maya traveled from her home in Michigan to St. Louis Missouri to have selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery. Doctors said the surgery would allow her to walk independently

Ann Tisdale

Doctors performed selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery, a neurosurgical procedure that selectively destroys problematic nerve roots in the spinal cord.

Maya Tisdale was born as a micro preemie weighing only 1 pound back in 2013. "I'm walking! Yes! I even took a big step".

Heartwarming video has emerged showing the moment a little girl with cerebral palsy walked for the first time. Her fighting spirit in the NICU earned her the nickname "Mighty Miss Maya" among family and friends. In the video, Maya stands up to take her first step, gleefully giggles and says, "I'm walking!" She was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy before her second birthday and typically relies on two canes to walk. I can't even put into words how we are feeling.

According to the family's website, the surgery was meant to "permanently reduce Maya's spasticity, giving her the ability to live with less pain and greater mobility".

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Despite needing a walker, the family said Maya continued to keep up with her older brothers and practiced her balance and other therapies on her own outside of the required therapies.

On May 9, 2018, Maya traveled from her home in MI to St. Louis, Missouri, to have selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery. "She's just kind of blowing it out of the water", Tisdale said.

According to her mother, friends and family call 4-year-old Maya "Mighty Miss Maya". The doctors said that with intensive physical therapy, she was expected to start walking independently within six months to a year following the procedure.

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.

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