July 13, 2010
Last week, South School Principal Linda Boyd, third grade teacher Laurie Daily, soon-to-be fourth grade teacher Dawn Gray, and newly appointed Assistant Principal Chris Hunt, visited Bella Tucker at the Children’s Hospital in Boston. Upon arriving at the hospital, the group was surprised to find that Bella was not in her room. Her nurse explained that Bella was “never in her room anymore” and the cafeteria was the best place to look for her.
“And there she was, sitting up in her wheelchair with her dad, eating breakfast,” said Principal Boyd. “She is not connected to anything! No oxygen, nothing!”
The group was then invited to watch Bella as she did her physical therapy. “She did an awesome job. She has been able to sit for longer periods and keep her balance, which is a huge step,” says Boyd.
During the visit, Bella also had her initial consultation with the prosthesis/brace technician. The plan is to start Bella off with legs in the very near future, and get her up and walking before beginning to work with her new arms. The technician explained that the legs are very advanced technology, making them easier to learn, and that arms and hands are more complex.
“Bella was concerned about shoes,” said Principal Boyd. “Can she wear different shoes? And the answer was definitely yes, but no heels until she is older. Heels required a different foot.”
The technician also explained the different parts of the leg prosthesis and how individual parts could be changed as she grows. He also told Bella and her visitors that her new hands could be in the form of a hand or a hook. He explained that a hook is actually easier manipulate, and the components could be interchanged depending on what activity Bella was doing.
“We were fascinated and it was all so hopeful.” said Boyd. Principal Boyd also reported that, “her progress has been amazing. Her mental attitude is definitely a big, positive “CAN DO.” Once she attains the weight they are comfortable with, the team will talk about sending her to a rehabilitation center.”
Bella’s family couldn’t let their little girl miss this year’s Fourth of July fireworks. They took her on a “very secret and illegal sojourn” to the top level of the parking garage. However, all the staff seemed to know about it, and teased her. Passing doctors would say, “So Bella, what’s this I hear about your escape to watch the fireworks?”
According to Principal Boyd, “The staff there are truly wonderful and Bella has again won their hearts on this new floor in the hospital.
On July 7, school staff received the following letter from an 8th grader at Hampstead Middle School; the young girl lost her own hand last year.
If you would like to help with the expenses for Bella and preparing her return home to Londonderry you can contact Principal Linda Boyd at South School. That contact information is on theLondonderry Schools Website. You may also send donations to South School at 88 South Road in Londonderry, NH 03053. Make your checks out to the Bella Tucker Fund.