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Jumping for the rebound, 13-year-old Tysheria looks like every other girl on her middle school’s basketball team. She is quick, jumps high and has lots of team spirit. But one thing sets Tysheria apart from her teammates, she is an amputee. Her mom, Sherry Williams, says, “When Tysheria was born, they didn’t hand her to me right away. I knew something wasn’t right. One of Tysheria’s feet was deformed.” Doctors believe in the womb, Tysheria’s umbilical cord became wrapped around her right foot, stopping circulation and causing the foot to become misshapen.

Seeking expert pediatric orthopaedic care for her daughter, Sherry brought Tysheria to Shriners Hospitals for Children — Greenville. Orthopaedic surgeons at the hospital recommended amputating Tysheria’s foot. “It was the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” Sherry says, “Even though Tysheria could walk, doctors explained that as she grew, her right foot would become increasingly deformed. This would inevitably leave Tysheria unable to walk.”  At 18 months of age, pediatric orthopaedic surgeons at the Greenville Shriners Hospital amputated Tysheria's foot. As most young children do, she immediately adapted to her new prosthetic leg and did not let it slow her down. Throughout her childhood she ran, played basketball and softball, swam and danced.

Reluctant to let anything stop her, when Tysheria began having pain in her right knee she did not want her teammates and coaches to find out. Eventually, her knee began popping out of place. After a round of physical therapy failed to help, doctors at the Greenville Shriners Hospital recommended surgery. Tysheria agreed to the surgery only if doctors would wait until after her basketball season was over. Just weeks after the season ended, orthopaedic surgeon Whitney Gibson, D.O., performed a right knee arthroscopy and reconstructed some of the ligaments around her knee.

For now, Tysheria is going to work on rehabbing her knee, staying in shape and then going out for her school’s basketball and softball teams next year. Tysheria’s mom sums up her daughter’s perseverance best, “Nothing’s going to stop this child. She’ll do anything if you let her.”

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