Eight-year-old loses limbs, survives near fatal infection; family, friends rally
Bella Tucker is an 8-year-old girl who is going through what no little girl should ever have to. Due to a massive infection that nearly took her life, Bella is lucky to be alive
— but at great cost. Doctors were able to save her life, but due to extensive tissue damage, Bella underwent quadruple amputation surgery and is facing an extremely long and difficult recovery.
“She’s doing OK,” said Peter Roarty, Bella’s stepfather and Lynbrook native. “She has moments of sadness, but she’s getting through it with the love of her family and friends.”
Roarty and his wife, Selena, now live in New Hampshire with their blended family: children Armando, 15, Tristan, 14, Joshua, 10, Lola, 4, and Bella. On Easter Sunday of this year, Bella was rushed to the hospital with a serious infection called streptococcus pneumonia sepsis with DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation).
“Basically, her blood was septic and organs were shutting down all over her body,” said Roarty. “They were able to save her life organs — her heart, lungs, to keep her alive — they didn’t think she would live. They said it was nothing short of a miracle that she’s even here.”
Roarty said that Bella was a healthy little girl before the infection ravaged her body, and that her immune system just couldn’t react fast enough to the massive infection. She’s had eight surgeries so far and is being treated at Children’s Hospital Boston. Bella is a third-grader at South School Elementary in Londonderry, NH and is a member of the Phantom gymnastics team.
In the beginning, doctors gave little hope for her survival — but after five days in a coma she miraculously survived. Because of the extensive tissue damage, Bella underwent quadruple amputation emergency surgery on April 27 and is now facing an extremely long and hard recovery, which will include extensive rehabilitation as she learns to live life without her limbs.
Bella likes gardening, listening to music, and, as with most girls her age, is a fan of entertainers Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. “Her friends come in to cheer her up,” said Roarty. “They play games with her. Our family still has family game night at her bedside.”
Bella will be in ICU for another few weeks, and then will be moved to Spaudling Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston for at least another month. From there, she will go to Shriners Hospital for Children to learn to use prosthetics for her arms and legs.
”I want to invite people in the community where I grew up to come out and support Bella,” said Lynbrook native Roarty. “Our family couldn’t have a better group of friends. We also had so many local sponsors that were wonderful to us.”
The Chinese Auction Fundraiser
When: June 19, 7 to 9 p.m.
Where: VFW Hall, 235 Merrick Rd.,
Lynbrook, N.Y. A $25 Suggested donation will include raffles, D.J., food, cash bar.
If you can’t make the fundraiser but would still like to donate, send to The Bella Tucker Fund, 26 Lantern Lane, Londonderry NH 03053. To learn more about Bella, visit www.bellatucker.org