Sixteen-year-old girl who lost all four limbs to a deadly bacteria learns how to play the piano - and gets a standing ovation from a 200-people crowd at her first on-stage performance
Bella Tucker, from New Hampshire, learned how to play piano after deadly virus caused by Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria saw her lose her arms and legs
Despite having no limbs Bella is very talented musician and received a standing ovation for her on-stage performance of Somewhere Over the Rainbow
She said: 'People assume I can't do all of the things that they can but when they see how independent I am, they treat me the same as they would anyone else'
A 16-year-old girl who lost all four limbs to a deadly virus that almost killed her has proven that she will not let having no arms or legs stop her from playing beautiful music.
Bella Tucker, from New Hampshire, won cheers and a standing ovation after gaining the courage to perform Somewhere Over the Rainbow to a room of 200 people at a talent show.
The inspirational teenager learned the instrument after contracting a deadly virus which her parents originally thought was the flu at the age of eight.
|Independent teenager: Bella said once people 'see how independent I am, they treat me the same as they would anyone else'|
Her dad Rich Tucker, 48, said the deadly virus, caused by Streptococcus pneumonia bacteria, turned her entire body purple after it infected her bloodstream and left Bella on the brink of death.
But miraculously she pulled through but had to have all four limbs amputated to save her life.
After eight months in the hospital and intensive physio, she took up piano lessons and now she practices whenever she can and has mastered the skill of performing beautiful songs by pressing keys with the stumps of her arms.
'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,' Bella said.
'I always enjoy hearing the end product of a song. I can imagine that people assume that I can't do all of the things that they can but when they see how independent I am, they treat me the same as they would anyone else.'
Bella's ordeal began on Easter Sunday 2010 when she woke up feeling achey, tired and suffering from flu-like symptoms.
'She said she would take it easy and ride it out a but then I noticed her stomach was starting to turn dark purple so we rushed her to ER,' Rich said.
'Within an hour her whole body was purple. She was bloated and puffy and they had her in a helicopter going to Boston Children's Hospital.'
Doctors had told Rich that there was a chance Bella wouldn't make it but the little girl defied the odds to pull through after medics exchanged the infected plasma for healthy plasma.
Slowly the purple disappeared from her face and stomach but as that was clearing up, her limbs became darker and darker until they were completely black.
Doctors had no choice but to amputate both her legs above the knee and arms above the elbow to save her core.
Ever since then, determined Bella has battled to do things that other kids can do - such as painting using a cloth sleeve on her arm and playing piano.
It was the scariest time of my life but Bella's attitude throughout has just been absolutely unbelievable,' Rich said.
'She can't play soccer or basketball but she started taking piano lessons and learned how to play with the ends of her arms.'
'She never played before all this happened but she didn't find it difficult - it was just a matter of finding the right song where she can play one or two keys at a time.'
Bella made her on-stage debut in front of hundreds of other children and their parents in August at a talent show at Camp No Limits in Maine.
It was an event hosted by the No Limits Foundation, a non-profit supporting children with limb loss.
Mary Leighton, founder of the No Limits Foundation, said that Bella had the room in silence while she played and brought everyone to tears of joy.
She added: 'She was nervous but played so beautifully. She is a beautiful soul.'
'She was really shy before and so the fact she would even get up and play in front of 200 people just blew me away,' Rich said.
'You could hear a pin drop it was so quiet and there wasn't a dry eye in the house. I was one of the people crying.'
'She is an awesome kid. She has such a great attitude. I just love her so much.'