At age 28, a professional cheerleader and dancer’s life took an unexpected turn when she suffered a stroke that left her paralyzed on her right side.
“Everything went dizzy on me,” Tessa David told Fox59 of the incident, which happened Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. “My arm, I couldn’t feel it.”
Sixty percent of David’s brain was injured, and she is no longer able to read and understand numbers.
According to David’s GoFundMe page, she suffered a moderate-to-severe stroke in her sleep.
David, a former Indianapolis Colts cheerleader, had moved to Dallas to audition for the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and held a spot on the squad for five years. She was featured on the team’s CMT reality show "Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making The Team,” which documents the cheerleaders’ audition process.
David has undergone therapy in Texas, California, and her hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, and is showing progress, Fox59 reported.
“We’ve shown her videos of her right after her stroke to just show her … you couldn’t move, you couldn’t stand and now look at what you’re doing,” Erin Bell, David’s former teammate and current Colts cheerleader, told Fox59. “She suffered a very severe stroke, so it’s almost a miracle [she is improving].”
“I’m a fighter,” David told the news channel. “I will be a fighter.”
Before she returns to Texas, David will take part in the Colts Cheerleaders’ calendar release party on Friday. The team is donating a portion of the proceeds to support her recovery.
According to Fox59, David is working to spread awareness of how to identify when someone has suffered a stroke.