Family and friends of a Mesa woman are celebrating her remarkable return to the dance floor 16 months to the day she underwent a heart transplant.
In 2010, Mia Welch could barely move. She was stuck in the hospital waiting and hoping for a new heart.
A short time after the story appeared on CBS 5 News, a donor heart became available.
It takes a lot of courage to dance front and center for a crowd of people, but after what Welch has been through this might as well be a walk in the park.
"I never thought that I would be doing what I'm doing now," Welch said. "A year ago, two years ago, I couldn't do what I'm doing now."
A virus destroyed her heart, and machines were the only things keeping her alive while she desperately waited for a transplant.
Before her body failed her, the young woman had a passion for dance, but at times during her long wait for a new heart she could barely walk across the room.
"I didn't think I could recover so fast from a transplant," Welch said.
On this particular night, one year and four months to the day from her heart transplant with all of her friends, family, and donor family in attendance, Welch made the stunning return to the dance floor.
"She's just such a unique and special person, aside from the heart transplant and everything. That's just who she is, and this has just let everybody else see that person that we've known," said Christa Walker, summer dance program director.
Welch not only danced with the rest of the performers of MCC's summer program but she also choreographed and capped off an emotional night with a flawless solo.
"It's like a dream come true," Welch said. "I still get frustrated not being able to do everything I could do before, but I'm here today, and that's just a miracle in itself, I think."
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