Minnesota Zumba instructor who lost leg hopes to dance again

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A Rogers, Minnesota woman who went into cardiac arrest while teaching a Zumba class on Jan. 9 is optimistic about her future and hopes to teach the exercise class again.

Adela Alvarez has undergone numerous surgeries and procedures, including the amputation of her right leg above the knee after a blood clot and serious infection, according to her Caring Bridge page.

She says although it's hard to wake up with no leg, she's thankful to be alive.

“I am so grateful to God to be alive,” she told WCCO.

Alvarez, 49, was teaching a Zumba class when she collapsed and went into cardiac arrest. A woman in her Zumba class did chest compressions for about 20 minutes before she was taken to the hospital.

“The lady who began CPR on my mom saved her life,” Agustina Alvarez, Alvarez's daughter, told the Herald Journal back in February.

Doctors aren't sure what caused her cardiac arrest, but they inserted an implantable defibrillator to hopefully prevent future problems, WCCO says.

She was released from the hospital on March 24. Alvarez is thankful for the support of her Zumba class and her students at Mayer Lutheran High School, where she teaches Spanish.

In a video Alvarez recorded for her students in March, she was upbeat, saying, "Hello everyone! I'm alive. I'm here. I'm back. I'm so pleased, I'm so thankful for all your prayers."

“The lesson is: It doesn’t matter what you go through,” Alvarez told WCCO. “God is with you, and God will help you. God will surround you with people who will help you, that will help you to get through.”

Now, Alvarez is working on her strength in physical therapy as she gets used to life without a leg. She's currently using a walker to get around until she gets her prosthetic leg, which is expected to take four to six weeks to manufacture, her Caring Bridge page says.

Her medical insurance is expected to cover the cost for a basic prosthetic, but in order for her to teach Zumba again, she'll need a specialized, athletic leg, WCCO says. Her students have organized fundraisers to help with her medical expenses and there is also an online fundraising campaign to help with costs.

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