A 5-year-old girl living in California's Palos Verdes Peninsula is remaining hopeful and determined after an injury left her paralyzed.
On December 23, 2015, Eden Hoelscher was doing a backbend while waiting for her mother, Kylee Hoelscher, to take a shower before Eden, her mother, and her sister, Isabella, 9, went Christmas shopping.
"I walked by the girls (before I went to shower) and Eden was doing a backbend and I said, 'Eden, just be careful,' Kylee Hoelscher told ABC News. "All of a sudden, my other daughter came in and said, 'Eden's on the floor, crying.'"
Hoelscher consoled her daughter, who was crying and said her back, leg and hips were hurting.
Once Eden was calm, she went to her room to put her boots on before the family went out to shop.
While driving to the store, Eden complained about how her legs felt, so Hoelscher turned around and went back home.
"I said, 'Just lay down and take a nap, maybe you'll feel better,'" Hoelscher said. "She kind of looked at me and said, 'Mommy, it feels like my legs are asleep.'"
"But her legs were in this strange position, so I said, 'Eden, move your legs. She said, 'I can't.' Then, I stood her up and her legs buckled under her and we went to the emergency room."
KTLA reported that Eden was taken to Torrance Memorial first but then was airlifted to UCLA Medical Center where she was sedated, given steroids, put in a controlled state of hypothermia and given medicine to raise her blood pressure.
An MRI at a hospital showed a contusion on Eden's spine.
Kylee and her husband, Nicholas, were told that Eden was paralyzed from the waist down.
In addition to the paralysis, Eden cannot regulate her own body temperature, and her bowels and bladder do not function.
"The damage, it's her entire spine and it doesn't make any sense at all," Hoelscher said. "It's just a backbend and it's just devastating. You go from watching your 100 percent independent kid who dressed herself, put her hair in a ponytail ... to not being able to get out of bed and it's almost impossible to bear."
But Hoelscher said that her daughter's determination has been a bright spot.
"One thing that's amazing about Eden is she has not changed throughout this whole ordeal," Hoelscher said. "She's still her same laughing, giggly, silly self. She wins over the heart of everyone she knows. It's amazing that her spirit has completely gone unchanged.
"The doctor said that's one of the things she has going for her. In physical therapy, she won't cry or get mad, she'll just try as hard as she can."
For a month and a half, Eden underwent physical and occupational therapy at LA Children's Hospital.
Hoelscher said that, although she knows the worst-case scenario is that Eden will never walk again, she tells her daughter that "Everything we are doing to get your legs working again, we're doing."
For now, when she is not in physical therapy, Eden uses a wheelchair, which she has also found enjoyment in by mastering wheelies.
To help with insurance and other financial costs, a family friend set up a GoFundMe page. It has raised over $22,000 of its $60,000 goal.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.