How Did Makayla Noble Get Hurt? Paralyzed Cheerleader Stands in Wheelchair for First Time

Makayla Noble, the Texas high school cheerleader who was left paralyzed following a freak accident, was able to stand up for the first time in her wheelchair, her family have said in an update.

The 17-year-old Prosper resident suffered a severe spinal cord injury while tumbling in a backyard on September 20, 2021.

Tumbling is a gymnastic discipline that involves acrobatic maneuvers, such as flips, jumps and twists, that are performed without the use of apparatus.

After injuring herself, Noble was rushed to a medical facility in Plano, Texas, where she spent more than three weeks. Later, the cheerleader moved to a rehab facility where she is currently undergoing several forms of physical therapy.

The spinal cord injury left Noble paralyzed from the waist down and unable to move her hands, a family friend, Tiffany Smith, previously told Newsweek.

In an update posted to the Facebook group "Makayla's Fight" on Monday, the family said the 17-year-old had a "great day with therapy" and was "crushing goals."

"Her spirits are high in that area," the family said.

Among the highlights of the day in occupational therapy, Noble was able to stand up in her wheelchair for the first time since the accident.

"They will slowly ease her in at small increments of time to allow her body to adjust without getting nauseous," the family said.

The teen's goal in physical therapy on Monday was to achieve 20 seconds of sitting up and balancing on her own. But in the end she managed to do 2 minutes and 15 seconds, according to the update.

On Tuesday, Noble had another "good day" with therapy, the family said in another Facebook update, with the teen able to work on some painting.

"We joked that we think she might be better at painting now than before the accident!" the family said.

Noble has been referring to her fingers as "dead bugs" in discussions with her therapists.

"It's moments like these that we see that despite all the changes in her body, it's still the same Makayla," the family said.

"Mak seems to be the Mayor of her Rehabilitation floor, calling everyone by name, getting to know them and lifting them up with that beautiful smile we all love!"

Noble's story has captured the attention of people in her local community and, indeed, all over the world, with the family receiving an outpouring of support.

A GoFundMe page set up by Smith with the 17-year-old's medical expenses has now raised more than $186,000, while the Makayla's Fight Facebook group now boasts more than 47,000 members.

Makayla Noble
Makayla Noble, the 17-year-old high school cheerleader who was paralyzed in a freak tumbling accident. On Monday, Noble was able to stand up for the first time in her wheelchair since the accident. Cedarbook Media