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Paralyzed teen gymnast smiles, sits up as supporters ask for $1

Jacoby Miles was paralyzed from the chest down in a gymnastics accident in Sumner November 16. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, the 15-year-old has been moved from Harborview to Seattle Children's Hospital to begin therapy. (Photo courtesy the Miles family)

Remember the feeling of watching your child take his or her first wobbly baby step? The parents of a local teen, who was paralyzed during a gymnastics practice in Sumner, feel that sense of pride as their 15-year-old sits up.

“Telling you we’re proud of Jacoby doesn’t come close to how we felt as we watched her throughout the day,” Jason and Gretchen say in a public blog they’re keeping to track her progress.

Over the weekend she was moved from Harborview to Seattle Children’s Hospital to begin physical therapy.

“Jacoby sat up for the first time! We know this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but for spinal cord injuries, it’s one of the first hurdles that must be overcome. After laying down for one week solid, the body has to re-adjust blood pressure levels,” her parents write.

On November 16, Jacoby Miles was performing on the uneven parallel bars at Roach Gymnastics in Sumner. She was practicing her double back dismount off the high bar into a foam pit. She opened prematurely, stating she “got lost” before her second flip was complete. She landed on her neck.

Her spinal cord wasn’t severed, but Jacoby lost all feeling from her chest down instantly.

Today, Jacoby is able to move her shoulders and has some feeling in her arms. However, doctors say that while the teen may regain movement in her wrists, it is unlikely she will ever walk again.

Even so, the family is praying for a full recovery and a smiling Jacoby is determined to walk again.

Family and friends have launched a social media fundraiser to make sure she gets all the medical support she needs.

With the Twitter hashtag #b1namillion, they’re asking people to “Be one in a million” and donate $1 to her recovery fund.

The website accepting donations, reports they’ve raised about $60,000 so far.


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