Ballerina Hopes To Dance Again After 13 Year Absence

A dancer during a dress rehearsal for Daniil Simkins INTENSIO, at the Joyce Theater on January 5, 2016 in New York. Melina Reis, an amateur Brazilian ballerina hopes to dance again after over 13 years. TIMOTHY A. CLARY / Getty Images

Melina Reis, 31, an amateur ballerina in Brazil, is one of the first people to receive a pointe foot prosthesis, allowing her to dance again after more than 13 years. A tragic road accident in 2002 resulted in the need to amputate her lower left leg in 2014, after enduring some 30 operations.

The prosthesis, which is made from carbon fibre and gypsum, weighs 250kg. It took Dr José André Carvalho - Director of the Campinas Institute of Prosthesis and Orthosis in São Paulo - four weeks to produce it. The artificial limb was made for Reis for free, as she was the subject of a case-study experiment.

"The challenge was to get Melina to balance on the prosthesis that has only one centimetre square area of support,"Dr Carvalho told The Independent. "I had to innovate using applied concepts of biomechanics and mathematical calculations as the prosthesis also needed to capture the posture and beauty of the ballerina while carrying her weight."

The revolutionary design provides hope for other amputees that a hold a passion for ballet across the globe.

"It has always been my dream to go back to using pointe shoes. To be able to dance again is an inexplicable feeling of joy and deep satisfaction," Reis told The Independent. "When I asked Dr Carvalho to make the foot for me, he accepted the challenge even though he could find nothing in medical literature to help him."

"We are in the process of stabilising my knee. I need to do more training," she adds. "This has given me a quality of life that was beyond my expectations."

In two years, Reis hopes to perform in front of an audience once again.