"They did some more tests and confirmed she had the flu and saw she had some kind of infection," Puma said. "She spent a couple of days in the hospital, and her leg got worse and worse."
At one point, simply touching Tessa made her scream in pain. When doctors performed surgery to relieve swelling, they found extensive damage in her left leg as well as parts of her shoulder and back.
In Tessa's case, doctors believe the strep bacteria migrated to her bloodstream, causing the dangerous infection. When doctors could no longer find a pulse in her leg, they concluded she likely had too much dead tissue. To help her heal, they amputated her left leg from the knee down.
Puma said the doctors told him, "If there was any kind of hope for her to live and survive, it's going to be best to amputate her leg."
Tessa is recovering at Akron Children's Hospital but will need further surgery and additional portions of her left leg removed to help her survive. But her father said that she has a strong will and that he believes she will eventually return to what she loves: dancing.
"She's very good-hearted," Puma told ABC News. "Whenever she puts her mind to something, she's very determined. This isn't going to set her back to her goals."