A 15-year-old competitive gymnast from Puyallup was seriously injured on the uneven bars – and now the community has rallied around her.

Puyallup Teen Paralyzed in Washington Gymnastics Accident

Posted on Dec 13, 2012

A Puyallup teen, 15-year-old Jacoby Miles, has been paralyzed while training as a gymnast. In the days after her permanent spinal injury, the local community, as well as the gymnastic community, has rallied around the girl. 

The sports accident took place at Roach Gymnastics in Sumner, Washington, when she was practicing a complex double-back dismount from the uneven bars. She landed on her neck, permanently injuring her spine. Immediately, the young athlete lost feeling from her chest down. She was immediately rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tacoma and then to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, where she underwent spinal cord surgery the day after her fall. 

She injured her C4 vertebra. Although the spinal cord is not severed in the area, it has been injured to the point that Miles is unable to feel anything from her chest down. She can shrug her shoulders and do bicep curls, but doctors say that walking again is not likely – nor is a future competing in the gymnastics she loves. 

Each year, about 25,000 of the estimated three million children who take gymnastics are injured while practicing or competing. While shoulder injuries, wrist injuries, ankle injuries, and knee injuries are common, spine and back injuries as serious as this one do sometimes occur. 

The owner of the gym where the injury occurred, Olympic weightlifter Melaine Roach, is donating 100 percent of the proceeds from her new book to the Miles family. Everyone at the Andrew Kim Law Firm sends their best wishes to Miles on a strong recovery. 

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