Girl Who Lost All Her Limbs to Deadly Virus Wows Crowd With Piano Performance
A teenager who lost her arms and legs to a life-threatening virus has wowed a crowd with a rousing piano performance.
There was a standing ovation after 16-year-old Bella Tucker, of Pelham, N.H., played "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" before a crowd of 200 people at a talent show.
“You could hear a pin drop it was so quiet," her dad, Rich Tucker, told SWNS. "There wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I was one of the people crying."
The moving performance comes eight years after Bella contracted a deadly virus that turned her body purple and required her to undergo a quadruple amputation.
"I can imagine that people assume that I can't do all of the things that they can," Bella said. "When they see how independent I am, they treat me the same as they would anyone else."
On Easter Sunday 2010, she woke up feeling as if she had the flu, unaware that streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria was invading her bloodstream.
When her father noticed her stomach turning dark purple, he rushed her to the hospital.
“Within an hour her whole body was purple," he recalled. "She was bloated and puffy and they had her in a helicopter going to Boston Children’s Hospital. They said, ‘There’s a good chance she is not going to make it.'"
But medical staff were able to exchange her infected plasma for healthy plasma, and the purple color started disappearing from much of her body.
When her limbs started turning black, doctors were left with no choice but to amputate them. She lost both of her legs above the knee and her arms above the elbow.
After eight months in the hospital and intensive physiotherapy, Bella decided to take up piano lessons, despite never having played before.
"I use the tip of my arms to press the keys and I simplify the music so I play no more than two notes at a time," she explained. "I always enjoy hearing the end product of a song."
And so did her audience. She gave her first ever performance at Camp No Limits, an event hosted by the No Limits Foundation, a non-profit supporting children with limb loss, in August.
"Bella had the room in silence while she played and brought everyone to tears of joy," Mary Leighton, founder of the No Limits Foundation, told SWNS. "She was nervous but played so beautifully. She is a beautiful soul."