6-Year-Old Who Was Paralyzed After Doing a Backbend Takes Her First Steps

Resilient first-grader Eden Hoelscher spent 13 months in a wheelchair working towards her goal of walking again.
Stand For Eden/GoFundMe

You may remember reading about 6-year-old Eden Hoelscher, who was paralyzed suddenly after practicing a backbend in her home a little over a year ago. The California child has spent 13 months as a paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair, due to the freak accident that seemingly could have happened to anyone.

After her injury, which doctors determined resulted from a hyperextended spine and a subsequent stroke in her spinal cord, Eden's mom Kylee Hoelscher wrote this inspiring message on her daughter's GoFundMe page: "Because of Eden's spirit and resiliency, we have never lost hope in her full recovery. Anyone who encounters Eden, including doctors, nurses and therapists, always have the same response: 'If anyone can recover from this, it's Eden.'"

Well it seems this brave 6-year-old is proving her mom right. People magazine reports that Eden recently took her first steps since the accident. The first-grader has been working hard on her rehabilitation for the past year, amazing everyone around her, including her doctors at the Frazier Rehabilitation Institute in Louisville, Kentucky (where the family decided to move to aid in Eden's recovery).

Her mom recalled to People the extraordinary moment she saw her daughter take those steps, sharing that Eden's best friend Violet was visiting when it happened. "They were having this imaginary sword fight [during one of Eden's treatment sessions] and she just started taking steps." And unbelievably, she says Eden predicted that she would be able to walk during her friend's visit.

She went on to explain, "Part of her treatment involves locomotor training on a treadmill where she's in a harness and they support a percentage of her body weight. For an hour, they try to wake up her spinal cord and get it moving. Then they take her into another room and see what they can get her body to do."

"Her therapist was holding her, and Violet and Eden started sword fighting again, and Eden started taking a step toward Violet. They were kind of holding her, so they were supporting some of her weight, but she started taking steps around the room and then into the hallway."

Stand for Eden/Facebook

Watching a video of herself walking is what keeps Eden up on tough days. And although there is still no prognosis for her future, Eden can do much more now than when she first got hurt. "She wasn't able to sit up on her own in the beginning. But now she can fully sit up, get dressed, brush her teeth, take a bath and wash her own hair. She's a lot more comfortable in her own skin — just comfortable in her body and with the way that she is," Hoelscher told People.

And amazingly, this family has chosen to focus on the positive, instead of what they have lost. Hoelscher recently posted an update to the Stand for Eden Facebook page, announcing her daughter received an apparatus called a "stander" that allows her to stand up.

"Got my first standing-up hug in almost a year," the grateful mama wrote as a caption to her post.

We look forward to hearing about Eden's progress! You are in our hopes and prayers sweet, brave girl.

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Find her on Facebook where she chronicles her life momming under the influence. Of coffee.

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