Eden Hoelscher: Little Girl, 5, Paralyzed From Doing Simple Backbend, Hyper-Extended Spine

A 5-year-old little girl from California, Eden Hoelscher, was left paralyzed after performing a simple backbend in her living room. The little girl was playing in her family home when she pushed herself up into a backbend as she had done numerous times in the past. However, this time, the little girl collapsed on the floor in tears. Her mother says she picked up her daughter and began rocking her until her tears subsided, believing her injury couldn’t be that serious from a seemingly harmless backbend. Sadly, Eden’s mother was terribly wrong, and just moments later, she would realize the gravity of her daughter’s situation when the child was unable to move her legs.

The Daily Mail reports that 5-year-old Eden Hoelscher was a typical little girl who loved to do gymnastics on the living room floor and had one day dreamed of being a ballerina. However, all of that changed in December of 2015, when Eden did what many girls her age do and performed a simple backbend on her living room floor. After pushing herself up into the backbend, Eden’s mother, Kylee Hoelscher, says that her daughter fell back down to the floor and began crying in pain. Initially, Kylee didn’t think her daughter’s injury could be very serious, as it was the result of an action her daughter had done numerous times in the past. However, when her daughter calmed down, she realized that something was seriously wrong.

“Thirty minutes after she started crying, she stopped. Her face changed—it kind of filled with wonder—and she told me, ‘Mom, I feel like my feet are sleeping.’ I looked at her body, which seemed to be posed awkwardly on the bed, and told her to move her leg. She stared at it, saying, ‘I can’t, Mom.’”

After realizing her daughter couldn’t move her lower extremities, the shocked mother rushed Eden to the hospital, where they confirmed that the little girl had been paralyzed from the waist down. The doctors called the incident a “freak accident” that caused “unheard of damage.” The doctors say that when little Eden performed her backbend, she hyper-extended her spine. At that point, the little girl’s artery that feeds her spinal cord stop pumping blood, causing the paralysis caused by a stroke in the spinal cord. Her mother recounts the horrible ordeal on the family’s GoFundMe page.

“I put her and her sister in the car and rushed to the hospital, a day that started her 52-day stay in the hospital where we learned that that backbend turned our independent daredevil into a paraplegic. That backbend, something she had done hundreds of times before, had hyperextended her spine and caused the artery that feeds her spinal cord to stop pumping blood, causing a stroke in her spinal cord. The extent of damage is unheard of. Her stroke was in T8/9, she stretched the ligaments in T3/4, and the damage extends up and down her spinal cord from T2-T12.”

After the backbend changed their lives forever, Kylee says that they are learning to live with Eden’s new disability, and the little girl’s physical therapist notes that if anyone can overcome this situation, it is Eden. Kylee says through it all, Eden’s spirit is as strong as ever.

“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.”

Although her family is hoping for a full recovery, Eden is currently wheelchair bound and requires 24/7 care. The little girl’s bowels and bladder no longer work, and she cannot sit up on her own. Her mother wakes the little girl up twice a night to move her and ensure she doesn’t get bed sores, adding that the road to recovery is going to be long and difficult. However, she says that Eden’s results in therapy are giving them hope that one day their little girl, who had started walking at nine months, will once again be on her feet. For now, the therapy is providing what the family needs most of all, hope.

Did you know that something as simple as a backbend could cause spinal cord damage in a young child?

[Image via GoFundMe]