Massachusetts

‘Don't Be Afraid': Mass. Preteen Offers Words of Inspiration After Tough Diagnosis

Alexis Smith was rushed to Boston Children’s ER in January, diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare blood condition that occurs when bone marrow can’t produce enough new blood cells. It led to months in and out of the hospital and a leg amputation

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A young girl from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, is showing us how to overcome the odds with a smile.

Alexis Smith was a healthy, athletic 7th grader one day. The next, she was in the hospital, and stayed there for months.

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She went home Friday, but things are very different now. Still, she keeps a positive attitude and wants others to know they can too, no matter what.

Scott left Franciscan Children’s after weeks of intensive rehabilitation.

"All this just happened, like out of the blue nobody knows why or how," said her mother.

She was rushed to Boston Children’s ER in January, diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare blood condition that occurs when bone marrow can’t produce enough new blood cells.

She had a bone marrow transplant, lost her hair from dialysis and, after an infection, her leg was amputated.

"They had to take the leg to save her life. If she kept the leg she wouldn’t be here," said her mother.

Alexis faced a path full of grueling therapy, but her medical team says she never showed defeat.

“She’s one of the most amazing, inspiring young girls I’ve ever met. It’s really been amazing to see her overcome so many challenges," said her nurse practitioner.

She knows the impact her strength is having.

"One time a nurse said...’cause she didn’t want to get up...she was like, if Alexis can get up in the morning, I can too," Alexis explained.

And now as she gets ready to embark on the next chapter, getting fitted for a prosthetic leg next week, she has some advice for anyone faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge.

"Don’t be afraid, but don’t keep your feelings hidden inside."

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