5-Year-old girl gets paralyzed from waist down in a bizarre gymnastic accident

Simple gymnastics are usually safe. Girls and boys start at a young age in order to build flexibility in their body to move and twist it. This makes the body used to, to the gradually difficult poses and moves of gymnastics.


Doing most of the moves of gymnastics under guidance of an expert is quite safe and children can often stretch more than adults due to the natural flexibility that their bodies have. But sometimes even the simplest of the moves can prove to be serious, if even a little something goes wrong.

That’s what happened with 5-year-old Eden Hoelscher, who is now paralyzed after performing a simple gymnastics move. Take a look at the story of this young girl.


1 The sweet little talented girl!

This girl was a lively, bubbly and normal girl who loved to play with her sister and do things that normal 5 year olds do in their spare time. But a simple gymnastic move, that she had done hundreds of time, caused her to get paralyzed from waist down.

Eden was playing with her sister and did a backbend or a bridge. Immediately, her mom Kylee heard screams and sounds of crying from her daughters’ room. Her other daughter came in and told her that her sister was on floor and crying. Kylee immediately went into the room and gathered her in her arms in order to calm her down.


Eden then said that she felt like her feet were sleeping and was unable to move her legs. She was immediately taken to the Torrence Memorial Medical centre in California.

The sweet little talented girl!

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2 The gymnastic move

The backbend or the bridge is a gymnastic move that involves bending the spine backward and catching oneself on their hands. The move bends the spine in a way that it is not used to and takes years of intense training to achieve.

Usually the move is taught after teaching the bridge. A bridge involves the person to bend backwards and then place their hands on the mat or the floor.

The gymnastic move

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3 What happened?

The doctors performed multiple scans on Eden and saw a contusion on spine. The doctors then told the parents that Eden was paralyzed from her waist down. Apparently the backbend move had extended her spine beyond the normal limit and that had caused an artery that runs through the spine to stop pumping blood, which coupled with the hyper extended ligaments in her back caused the spine to have a stroke.


The spinal cord is a bundle of nerves that relays the information from the brain to the rest of the body. For Eden, unfortunately the damage to the spine was so bad that it caused her bowel and bladder to stop working as well.

 What happened?

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As for her mother, she says that Eden’s entire spine has been damaged from a simple move and that is hard to understand. She says that Eden was always full of energy and a good gymnast and cannot believe that one simple move has brought her daughter’s live to a standstill.

4 What are the chances of recovery?

Eden’s neurological physical therapist Julie Hersberg is more optimistic about Eden making a recovery. She said,” she is a tough little girl full of a lot of fight and determination. Kids could be hard to keep on task and focused, but she is probably the hardest working child or adult I’ve ever worked with. I think that’s going to go a long way in her recovery. She just blows me away.”


The ordeal has not broken Eden and she does the physiotherapy workout with the same enthusiasm which she showed while doing gymnastics. A family friend has even started a GoFundMe page named, “Stand for Eden” to take care of the medical bills and other expenses not covered by her insurance.

Her mother says that they all tell her that they are everything to get her legs to work again. She adds that though the worst case scenario is always at the back of their minds, but they never want to put it in her head that recovery is not possible.

What are the chances of recovery?

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Even doctors are of the opinion that when it comes to kids, the recovery process is better because they want to get better so that they can play outside with friends and their pets and lead a normal life. For now Eden is wheelchair bound, but her spirit is still helping her to be brave and positive and believe that she is going to walk again someday, very soon.

We too hope and pray that she walks sooner than later and the amazingly courageous and cute girl gets to live a normal and happy childhood, which she totally deserves.


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