Makalya Noble Update As Family Hopes Paralyzed Texas Cheerleader Will Start Rehab Soon

The family of a 16-year-old cheerleader left paralyzed from the chest down after a gymnastics accident has said they hope she can begin rehab soon.

Makayla Noble, a resident of the town of Prosper, Texas, has been in hospital since the fluke accident happened while she was practicing tumbling on September 20.

Her family said in a statement posted to the Facebook group Makayla's Fight on Wednesday: "We got a lot of smiles today! Mak's spirits are definitely better, and things appear to be progressing as planned. We are hoping that she could move to her rehab facility as soon as Monday of next week."

The positive update came as a GoFundMe for Noble, organized by family friend Tiffany Smith, collected over $161,000 of a $175,000 goal. The money will be used to help Noble's family pay for medical expenses.

In the GoFundMe's description, Smith wrote: "Makayla Noble has suffered a spinal cord injury from a freak tumbling accident, and has a long road of recovery ahead. Please show your love and support for the Noble family with a contribution of any amount."

Noble was left with a severe spinal cord injury after the accident while she was practicing tumbling, a form of gymnastics that involves a series of acrobatic moves down a 25-meter sprung track.

Shortly after the accident, Smith told Fox 4: "This was a freak accident in somebody's backyard. This was not a cheer practice. This wasn't on a mat with a coach."

Assessing the extent of the injury, doctors predicted that Noble is unlikely to ever walk again. Smith told Newsweek: "Medically speaking, Makayla has not been given a chance of walking again. It's still early in the healing process but right now she does not have movement in her hands, and she is paralyzed from the chest down."

During her two-week stay in the hospital, Noble has been intermittently placed on a ventilator. Initially, this was as a result of the cheerleader's battle with pneumonia, but after being taken off the breathing apparatus on Sunday, doctors discovered her left lung was partially deflated.

This led to her being placed back on a ventilator and the addition of a tracheotomy tube alongside the ventilator on Monday to help prevent the left lung from drooping again. The cheerleader also had a feeding tube inserted.

Noble's family asked supporters to pray that the tracheotomy will work and that she passes a swallow test that enables the feeding tube to be removed. They had previously said that she could go to rehab as early as the end of this week, but her stints on the breathing apparatus had hindered her progress.

"The response from our local community here in North Texas and the cheer community around the world has been incredible. There are so many friends, family, and total strangers offering to support the Noble family in their time of need," Smith previously told Newsweek. "It's somewhat of a helpless feeling for all of us to see Makayla in this place, but we can pray and we can give financially."

Makayla Noble and fellow cheerleaders
Makayla Noble (center left) with fellow cheerleaders. Noble was left paralyzed after a freak tumbling accident. Tiffany Smith