Bella Gets Her Braces Off

Bella Braces OffBella is excited to have a new smile with the help from Timmeny Dr Polgrean and the wonderful staff at Appletree Orthodontics!

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September 10, 2013 Bella Update

Bella just started the 7th grade! She is excited to join the Drama Club and Chorus again the year. Last year she was in the Musical, Once A Pond This Island. She even had a solo! She also has been taking piano and art classes!

Bella continues to inspire everyone with her incredible attitude and positive outlook on life!

Thank you all again for your support!


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Hundreds turn out for Ride for Bella

By Suzanne Laurent

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


LONDONDERRY — The weather was perfect Sunday morning for the second annual Ride for Bella. Over 400 riders took off on 300 motorcycles just after 10 a.m. from Steve and James Tavern in Derry.

Ride for Bella Tucker FlagOf the hundreds who turned out for the Bella Tucker ride Sunday, the last rider carries a flag on his bike in her honor. Jan Lee Seeger - Derry News

Bella Tucker, 9, is the South Londonderry Elementary School fourth-grader who was rushed to Boston in April 2010, with a life-threatening illness, streptococcus pneumonia sepsis, that resulted in quadruple amputations.

Bella has returned to school and is adjusting to a new way of life, but she will need continuous medical care and adjustments to her prosthetics as she grows.

"It was very emotional," said Selena Tucker Roarty, Bella's mom, of the ride. "We took the back roads to the seacoast, and so many people came rushing out of their houses to wave."

The ride lasted a little over two hours with a ride along the coast and a stop at Seacoast Harley Davidson in North Hampton.

Riders came from all over; Roarty said she heard one even came up from South Carolina.

"It was so touching to see all these people come out for Bella," Roarty said. "Bella was so excited. She joined us back at the restaurant for the party after the ride."

The party included live music by The Roadhouse Band.ride for bella

"We raised $9,000 with the registrations," Roarty said. "We also had raffles, bracelets and T-shirts."

Roarty doesn't have a grand total yet as money is still coming in but said the event raised more than the $16,000 it raised last year.

"We ran out of T-shirts," Roarty said. "We had 300 made for the ride."

Roarty said Bella was "really looking forward to the summer."

She will be visiting family in Southern California this week. At the end of the summer, Bella and her family will be taking a Hawaiian cruise courtesy of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

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Bella blossoms after tough year

By Suzanne Laurent

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The Derry News

LONDONDERRY — Bella Tucker was enjoying the warm afternoon on the farmer's porch of her Lantern Lane home Monday. She texted a friend and asked her mom if she could go over to her friend's house for a while.

"How much homework do you have?" Selena Roarty asked her daughter before agreeing to the visit.

While this would be a conversation any parent of a 9-year-old would expect after a day at school, this particular exchange is quite extraordinary.

One year ago, Bella was fighting for her life in Boston Children's Hospital.

Bella became ill on Easter Sunday last year and was rushed to Boston with a life-threatening illness, streptococcus pneumonia sepsis, that resulted in quadruple amputations. She spent months at Children's and then Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, also in Boston.

Today, the South Londonderry Elementary School fourth-grader is back with her classmates and adjusting to a busy schedule of doctor's appointments, rehabilitation, swimming and just being a kid.

As her parents and four siblings kept vigil by her bedside last spring, the entire Londonderry community rallied around them. Multiple fundraisers were held, a website set up, a collection started at her school, and a group of architects and builders began renovating Bella's home for her return on Nov. 10, 2010.

When Bella arrived home last fall, just in time for the holidays, she found a completely renovated house with an addition built to accommodate her daily life. Her room was done in her favorite shade of blue.

Bella joined her fourth-grade class part time after coming home, and now is back for full days of school except for the two mornings she attends physical therapy.

When asked what her favorite subject in school is, Bella does not hesitate.

"Math," she said.

And being the sensitive child she is, Bella asks, "What was yours?"

She is quick to laugh and beams as the photographer quizzes her on multiplication tables — and she gets them all right.Bella Tucker Beautiful SmileJAN LEE SEEGER/Staff photo After a day of school, Bella Tucker, 9, enjoys Monday's warm weather on the front porch of her home.

Her mom said Bella, once a budding gymnast, never looks back with regret, but only forward.

"The guys at Next Step (Orthotics and Prosthetics) have said they have never seen such a quick improvement on anybody in all their days," Roarty said.

At school, Bella loves to paint using her right arm, which has more flexibility than her left arm for now. She also uses her right arm to text friends and play games on Facebook, which her parents monitor.

Bella has been fitted with prosthetic legs and a left arm at Next Step Orthotics and Prosthetics in Manchester. She has begun walking in school with the help of a therapist, now that she also has life-like feet as well.

"I got some new sneakers," Bella said.

"They're like hers," she said pointing to her 4-year-old sister Lola's feet.

Bella is very independent, her mom said. She will try to figure out how to do things without help from her parents or siblings.

"One day, I went to her room, and there she was, sitting on her bed with a big grin," Roarty said. "She figured out how to transfer out of her wheelchair by wriggling out of the seatbelt. This was a huge step for her."

South School principal Linda Boyd said Bella maintains a positive attitude, and is quite independent and determined.

"She participates in everything the fourth-graders do during the school day," she said. "She also likes chorus."

On Fridays, Bella looks forward to swimming lessons in the pool at Northeast Rehabilitation in Salem.

Last month, Bella and her family were invited to New York City for a weekend of fun, courtesy of Mark Magarity and the Torch Foundation. They saw "Mary Poppins" on Broadway and attended a gala black-tie dinner.

As Roarty and her husband Peter Roarty expected, the local benefits and fundraising for Bella have dwindled. But Bella will need continuous medical care and adjustments to her prosthetics as she grows.

"She's already had to have her leg prostheses changed twice since the fall," said Peter Roarty, Bella's stepfather.

Both Selena and Peter Roarty volunteer at South School while juggling Bella's schedule, their own jobs as flight attendants with JetBlue and caring for four more children.

The family is planning a Ride for Bella on July 10. The details haven't been firmed up yet and those interested can visit for more information.

"She still amazes me every single day," Selena Roarty said. "Just the way she looks at things in a different way now is so beautiful."

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Thank you Londonderry


The extent of support for Bella and her family within the town (and of course beyond) has been simply amazing.  When we started with the idea of doing some much needed renovations to Bella’s home last July....little did we know where that idea would lead.  To think that we could even attempt to thank everyone in this brief letter is absolutely impossible.  We did try to keep an actual list and if you (please) go to and look on the remodel page, you will see the scrolling list there.

With that said, I would sincerely like to say thank you once again to:

CUBE 3, Allen & Major, Otis, Sanford, Component, Gemini, Granite State, Liberty and Suffolk for the design and execution of the work.

The Town of Londonderry for their support, waiving of permit and impact fees, and their prompt inspections making it possible to maintain quality and schedule.

And finally to the most local of our Friends gather to see Bella come home to her remodeled house for the first time.Friends gather to see Bella come home to her remodeled house for the first time.businesses, which are in fact our neighbors and friends whom we see on a daily basis.  These people went above and beyond to make the house a home for Bella and her family.  They are the folks who participated in any way that they could, whether it was to supply windows, labor, or provide lunch and dinner to the crews that came streaming in day after day.  They are more than company names to us- but that is how many are most recognizable.  When you visit them, please say thank you to Santosuosso & Son, Thibeault , Alliance, Auger, Dube Builders, NH Steel, Wallboard Supply, KRD Builders, Hanson R&R, Daltile, Galluzzo Corp, Harvey Building Products, Home Depot, Continental, PK Garage Door, Shady Hill, Cedarcrest, Inlaws, ABC Flooring, TNT, Garside Septic, TJW Survey, Bruces Pest Control, Merrimac Tile, Dunkin Donuts, Carry out Cafe, Pizza World, Prosciuttos, Harold Square, and the list goes on.....all companies based in Londonderry or with employees living here.  I am proud to be your neighbor!

Bella Tuckers BedroomBella Tuckers BedroomSpeaking of neighbors, one last thank you to the Lantern Lane residents- a truly wonderful group who put up with construction going 7 days a week from dawn to.....well almost dawn again and pitched in at every level rain or shine!

All of these people (and so many more) responded with incredible heart and enthusiasm because they heard Bella's story and "just had to help".  The experience renews ones faith in humanity and should show everyone looking on- that despite what the news says……people are good!

Sometimes the story is not about the crisis or tragedy, but how people react when they hear of it.

Sometimes even a 9 year old girl can remind you that limits are only in your own mind and of the power that can come with defying those limits.....

Thank you Londonderry and most of all thank you to Bella, Selena, Peter, Armando, Tristan, Josh, and Lola for the best of lessons going into the holiday season!

Tony Nigro

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Youngster's illness inspired a community

One of the feel-good stories of the year played itself out last weekend up in Londonderry, N.H., where 8-year-old Bella Tucker was introduced to her new home.

Bella's dream of being a gymnast was derailed forever after she lost all four of her limbs to a catastrophic infection. But she returned to a community that is changed forever, as well, through an outpouring of donations of time, equipment, skill and money that provided Bella and her family with a home that will help them face the challenges ahead.

Bella became ill on Easter Sunday, April 4. With her temperature soaring, her stepfather, Peter Roarty, brought her to a nearby hospital. From there, she was airlifted to Children's Hospital Boston.

Doctors initially thought she had meningitis but then diagnosed her with streptococcus pneumonia sepsis — a potentially fatal infection that cuts off blood circulation to the extremities.

She survived after doctors put her into a coma for five days, but the damage to her arms and legs was too serious to save them. She underwent eight surgeries to amputate all four limbs.

As word of her plight spread, the community stepped in. A series of contributions and fundraisers blossomed into a major construction project at the family's home. It began with a plan to build an outside ramp and turned into a 2,400-square-foot addition, complete with separate garage, indoor elevator and a physical therapy room with state-of-the-art equipment.

More than 300 tradesmen and 30 businesses participated with labor and materials. A handicapped-accessible van was also donated.

Her parents, both flight attendants with JetBlue, are overwhelmed with thankfulness in the midst of tragedy, knowing their family will not face their struggles alone. It made "community" much more than a mere word.
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Volunteers step up to rebuild girl’s home

LONDONDERRY – Volunteers banded together to ensure Bella Tucker’s home was fully handicapped accessible when she returned home Sunday.

Bella was a healthy 8-year old girl, active in gymnastics and cheerleading, when she started feeling sick on Easter 2010. That night, she woke up with a raging fever and was taken by med-flight to Boston Children’s Hospital with Streptococcus pneumonia sepsis, and she fell into a coma.

She survived, but doctors had to amputate her arms and legs because of an infection.

Tony Nigro, of Londonderry, who works for Suffolk Construction, organized volunteers over the last four months, with support from his employer and co-workers, and worked to rebuild Bella’s home to make it accessible for her and to build a 2,500-square-foot addition for Bella, her mother, stepfather and four siblings.

The total project was worth $400,000, which was raised through donations.

Suffolk provided workers, equipment and materials, and reached out to many of its subcontractors, who provided items at deep discounts. In some cases, Suffolk Construction and Berry Construction, a division of Suffolk specializing in health care building, picked up the remaining cost.

Otis Elevator provided a $30,000 elevator for $15,000, and the Berry Fund – Berry Construction’s charitable fund – paid $15,000.

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Community Turns Out in Droves for Bella's Homecoming

Chris Caesar

Courtesy: Londonderry Times

Bella Tucker Gets a Kiss From Her Mom Selena Roarty at Her Homecoming Block PartyBella Tucker Gets a Kiss From Her Mom Selena Roarty at Her Homecoming Block PartyA lot has changed for Bella Tucker since she last laid eyes on her family's Londonderry home.

After falling ill with an intense fever last Easter, the 9-year-old South Elementary School student was airlifted to Boston's Children's Hospital, where she was diagnosed with streptococcus pneumonia sepsis - a disease, often fatal, that can cause body-wide inflammation and dangerously inhibit circulation.

Bella was placed in an induced coma for five days, and ultimately lost her limbs to tissue damage she endured during her coma.

Though she survived the infection, her struggle to reclaim her mobility had only begun: Bella would need to train her muscles and "relearn" how to move around, both with and without prosthetic aids - learn how to stretch, paint, throw objects and move around outside of her wheelchair.

As a result, Bella's step-dad, Peter Roarty, and her mom, Selena Tucker, faced a challenge of their own: how to afford expensive upgrades to their home in order to make it wheelchair accessible for their daughter.

"Yeah, it's been a tough time, but after everything (Bella's) gone through, it's really hard to complain about anything," Roarty said. "Especially her attitude - she's got high spirits, a great sense of humor."

Her can-do worldview caught on: driven by the power of the internet, local media and neighborly compassion, over 300 volunteers contributed money, time and resources to build an addition to the Tucker/Roarty home valued at over $350,000 - without a single cost to the family.

Those funds were donated above and beyond the thousands already raised by local students, family and friends.

Londonderry resident and Suffolk Construction executive Tony Nigro, who has a daughter Bella's age, first heard about the family's case through a family friend and a neighbor of Bella.

"Originally, it was just supposed to be an elevator, maybe a bathroom" Nigro laughed.

Instead, Nigro teamed up with Derek Felix of Blackdog Builders and Keith Boyle of the design firm Cube3 to create an addition that more than doubled the size of Bella's home, adding such amenities as a physical therapy room, hands-free accessories that range from toilets to intercoms, and a $30,000 elevator donated by Otis Elevators.

Bella's physical therapy room, built on the home's main floor, has a flat screen TV with the same Nintendo Wii fitness games Bella played in the hospital, with open spaces for accessibility and a treadmill for physical therapy.

"One day, obviously, we'd love to see her on this treadmill," Nigro said.

That room leads to a handicap-accessible bathroom - with a hands-free toilet, sink and even hair dryer - and a newly remodeled kitchen that emphasizes open space and low counter-tops.

"This way, Bella can still do chores, just like her brothers and sisters," Nigro joked. The companies took care to add some other amenities to the home so Bella's siblings didn't feel left out, including a basketball hoop for her older brothers and a redecorated room for her sister.

But the real gem of the project was Bella's new bedroom and bathroom - a spacious area with a walk-in closet, wheelchair-accessible bathroom, adjustable desk and a number of style guidelines proposed by Bella herself.

"She selected the blue in this room, indicated that she wanted polka dots, and that her favorite animals were monkeys and turtles," Cube 3 CEO Nicholas Middleton said. "From that, we made the makeover room."

The home also includes a number of HEPA filters and top-of-the-line climate controls, which organizers said would help keep the home an extremely clean environment.

After just over three months of grueling work, the team unveiled the home to the family - who had been living in a hotel since September - during a large Sunday block party to celebrate Bella's return.

Though Bella was unavailable for a comment on the emotional day, she waved to the cheering crowd as she rolled up the new pathway and wheelchair ramp to her home, while cheerleaders from the local elementary schools cheered her on.

Roarty said the response from the community - a town in which he and his family have lived only a couple of years - was "overwhelming."

"We're overwhelmed by what a phenomenal job they did," he said, adding he never thought anything like this would happen to his family. "The community, the neighbors,'s been a completely overwhelming experience.

"It's been a rough year, but we're really looking forward to 2011," he concluded.

Bella's mom addressed the crowd to thank their supporters before the family returned to their home, and saved her final words for Bella.

"And there's one more person I want to thank: you, Bella," she said. "You are the bravest little girl I know, and in some ways, every single person out there has learned something from you."

For more information, visit:

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NH girl, 8, staying strong despite amputations

Posted: 7/21/2010 5:55 pm EDT



Bella Tucker's smile is as big as her spirit is strong, even after the 8-year-old underwent a quadruple amputation.

On Easter Sunday, Bella, a completely healthy third grader, got sick and only got worse.


Days later, she was taken by helicopter to Children's Hospital, where she was diagnosed with strep-pneumonia.


“The doctors told us when we got there that night, they didn't expect to see her alive the next morning,” said Selena Roarty, Bella’s mother.

Bella made it, but the infection stopped her blood from getting to her hands and legs.


A month later, doctors were forced to amputate all of the young gymnast's limbs. News that could cripple a parent, didn't discourage Bella's mother.


“I'm just happy she's alive. When they told us this is what might happen, in the beginning it didn't really faze me because she is alive,” said Roarty.


Now, Bella is being fit for prosthetics while her family is shuttling between the hospital and home, working to reconstruct their entire house to meet her medical needs.


They've received tremendous support from the community, employers, and Bella's school.


Everyone wants to see her recover.


(Copyright (c) 2010 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Londonderry Man Brings Ride for Bella to Life

April Guilmet

Bella Tucker Ride for BellaA member of the Phantom Gymnastics team, Bella spent five days in a coma but miraculously survived her bout with Streptococcus Pneumonia sepsis. She is currently undergoing rehabilitation at a Boston hospital and preparing to return to school this fall, as her family updates their home to adapt to her new needs.


Deeply touched by Bella's story and spirit, Weeden began selling bracelets on his Facebook page, mostly networking with friends, family members and coworkers at Grappone Toyota in Concord, where he has worked as a manager for the past four years. Around that time, someone suggested planning a benefit motorcycle ride in Bella's honor.


"We picked a date right then and there," Weeden said.


Traveling to Laconia for New Hampshire Bike Week over Father's Day weekend, Weeden passed out fliers, alerting other Granite State motorcycle lovers of the upcoming event.


The rest, as they say, is history.


Last Sunday's benefit bike ride boasted 213 riders on 142 motorcycles, and brought in upwards of $12,000.


Event supporters met at Burgundy's Billiard Room in Derry early on the morning of July 11, with all 142 motorcycles making their way to Alton Bay and back over the course of the day in a ride lasting approximately three hours. Weeden asked participants to donate $25 per bike and $10 per passenger.


Others, who preferred traveling on four wheels instead of two, helped in other ways: registering bikers, overseeing the many raffles and the parking area, and cooking a barbecue supper for the returning bikers on Sunday evening.


"The donor list of raffle prizes is just tremendous," said Weeden, noting that over 40 donors provided the 50-plus raffle prizes.


Local police officers from throughout the region volunteered their time to escort the cyclists, with Salem Police Officer Michael Verocki leading the police escort, along with officers from Londonderry, Methuen, Mass., and the New Hampshire State Police.


The classic rock band Roadhouse provided entertainment following the ride. Weeden said the band was determined to perform despite a major setback to the lead singer just one week earlier. "He suffered a heart attack on July 4," Weeden said. "But he vowed to come out that day; the story just touched his heart."


Plans are already in the works for another Bella's Ride next year, if need dictates. "We'll make it even larger than this one," Weeden said.

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Turn for the worse brings out best in N.H. community

There is tragedy. Then, sometimes at least, there is triumph.

Just three weeks after undergoing massive surgeries to remove her right arm to her elbow, her left arm to her bicep and both legs, 8-year-old Bella Tucker has learned to text message with her nose, to clap with her elbows and to hold her bingo marker in her mouth.

Selena_with_Bella“What we tell her is that she will be able to do anything,” said mom Selena Roarty outside Boston’s Children’s Hospital on Friday. “Ride her bike, go back on the trampoline, go back to her gymnastics team. They’re waiting for her. . . . She wants to come home.”

A little more than a month ago, life for the Tucker-Roarty family of Londonderry, N.H., revolved around baseball, soccer, gym meets, homework, and a mother and stepfather juggling their JetBlue [JBLU] flight attendant schedules. At, you can see Armando, 15, Tristan, 14, Joshua, 10, Lola, 4, and Bella laughing and goofing it up for the camera.

Then, on Easter Sunday, Bella, a third-grader and aspiring gymnast, began running a fever. By the time her stepfather, Peter Roarty, came home from work, Bella was sweaty, struggling to sleep and complaining of cold feet. When Roarty touched them, they felt “dead cold, not alive cold,” he said. He rushed her to the local hospital, which immediately rushed her via helicopter to Children’s.

“They pulled me into a little room,“ said Bella’s mother. “They told me her situation and made it clear my child could die from this.“

“This” was streptococcus pneumonia sepsis, a rare pneumonia that had already damaged Bella’s extremities and was attacking her organs.

“I just wanted to take her place,” Selena Roarty recalled. “I just wanted her to say, ‘Mommy.’ ”

But Bella remained in a coma for five days. Four days passed before doctors assured the Roartys and Bella’s father, Richard, that their child would survive, but without her limbs. Selena and Richard explained this to the child the night before surgery.

“She didn’t understand,” Selena said. “ ‘Why do doctors have to take them?’ she asked. ‘Why did this happen to me?’ ”

Several surgeries later, Bella is learning to live a drastically transformed life.

But the future is daunting. She will need extensive rehab, then weeks in a Philadelphia facility learning to use prosthetics. Her stepfather and mother are insured, but they are paid only when they work. Even with JetBlue flight attendants donating extra shifts, that has meant a big dent in the Roartys’ income on top of worries about how to be with Bella, plus work and care for their other children. Most close family lives in California.

Then there’s the cost of a needed elevator for Bella (about $30,000) plus a retrofitted bathroom for thousands more.

This is where the Londonderry community has done all it can. One neighbor donated the cost of YMCA after-school care for Joshua. Kiddie Academy donated day care for Lola. Others have volunteered to pick up and drop off the children, to daily deliver home-cooked meals and staples so the Roartys need not rush to the grocery store. Fund-raisers include a car wash at Muffler World, a kick-a-thon at the American Kenpo Academy and an upcoming concert.

“No, I don’t think this is unusual,” said across-the-street neighbor Tammy Kozlowski, who’s coordinated much of this.

But Bella’s mother - who only moved to Londonderry two years ago - is clearly stunned by her town’s support, and emotional when she talks about it.

“I don’t know what I’d do without my community,” she said.

Said her husband, “We are very grateful, and very lucky.”

Donations may be made to the Bella Tucker Fund at P.O. Box 199, Londonderry, N.H., 03053. For more information, go to


By Margery Eagan - Boston Herald
Sunday, May 23, 2010

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Fundraising continues for Londonderry third-grader

Fundraising continues for Londonderry third-grader


By Suzanne Laurent This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


LONDONDERRY — A kick-a-thon fundraiser for South Londonderry Elementary School third-grader Bella Tucker, who has been seriously ill since Easter Sunday, is being planned at the American Kenpo Academy at 150A Nashua Road on June 5 at 3 p.m.

Bella, 8, has been at Children's Hospital in Boston since April 4. She was in a coma for five days after contracting a life-threatening infection caused by streptococcus pneumonia sepsis. The infection caused extensive tissue damage and, on April 27, Bella had to have quadruple amputation surgery. She has undergone three surgeries and is facing two to three more. Then she will begin a long rehabilitation process before returning home.

"It will be four to six months before Bella can come home," said Tammy Kozlowski, a close family friend. "There is a lot of work to be done on her family's home to make it handicap accessible."

Kozlowski said a ramp is not a possibility because of the way the house is built. The only option is an elevator on the outside of the home.

"We got an estimate from All-Ways Accessible and it would be about $30,000," Kozlowski said. "We are also seeing if we can get a van donated."

Ben Loi, South School's assistant principal, said the school has been keeping parents informed of Bella's progress "in a sensitive manner."

"We are also still collecting donations in our main office," he said. "People can drop off a check or cash for the Bella Tucker fund."

Cheryl Haas, a South School PTA mom with two daughters who attend the American Kenpo Academy, approached owners Peter and Kara Tessitore to see if they would hold a fundraising event for Bella.

The Tessitores lost their oldest son at the age of 19 and Peter said martial arts has helped them keep a positive attitude, and redirect their anger and sadness with the stress of everyday life.

"That's why I want to do this for Bella," Tessitores said.

For more information on the kick-a-thon, call 425-0085. Kozlowski has set up a Web site with information on Bella and a fund to help her family. Visit

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