Paralyzed Texas Cheerleader Makayla Noble Put Back on Ventilator, Fitted With Feeding Tube

A Texas cheerleader paralyzed after a freak gymnastics accident has been placed back on a ventilator, her family has announced.

Makayla Noble, a 16-year-old resident of the town of Prosper, Texas, was hospitalized after suffering a severe spinal injury on September 20 while performing tumbling, a form of gymnastics that involves a series of acrobatic moves down a 25-meter sprung track.

The experienced gymnast was placed back on a ventilator after her left lung became partially deflated, the family said in an update on the Makayala's Fight Facebook group Monday.

Doctors have placed a tracheotomy tube alongside the ventilator to help prevent the left lung from drooping. The family also said in the update that Noble has now been fitted with a feeding tube.

The family asked for help in the form of prayer requests, and a GoFundMe has also been set up in Noble's name, by a family friend, Tiffany Smith. Thus far, 1,800 donors have raised over $150,064 of a $175,000 goal.

Smith previously told Newsweek of the injuries suffered by Noble during the accident, saying it had left the cheerleader with "movement in her hands, and she is paralyzed from the chest down.

"Medically speaking, Makayla has not been given a chance of walking again."

Noble was originally placed on a ventilator in early September when battling pneumonia left her with breathing issues and problems with her lungs.

The ventilator was removed on Sunday after Noble's lungs had started to show signs of recovery. The family of the cheerleader had begun to plan for her to be moved to a rehabilitation center, possibly as soon as the end of this week.

"Prayer Praise! We were able to take Makayla off of the ventilator today and we're very grateful for that. We even got a little smile from her today! In order to move to the rehab facility, we really need for her lungs to remain strong and for her to start eating again," the family said in the post in Makayla's Fight Facebook group on Sunday. "If things go well, she could be moved by the end of the week."

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center estimates that around 100,000 gymnasts are injured each year, with the vast majority of these injuries being wrist, finger, knee, leg, and back injuries. Injuries most associated with tumbling are wrist, hand, and elbow related, as the sport requires the gymnast to support their entire body weight with their arms.

Talking to Fox 4 shortly after the accident occurred, Smith emphasized the fluke nature of the incident. "Makayla is a world-class athlete. She's trained by the best of the best ay Cheer Athletic," the family friend said. "This was a freak accident in somebody's backyard. This was not a cheer practice. This wasn't on a mat with a coach."

Makayla Noble
Makayla Noble, the Texas teen who suffered a severe spinal cord injury that left her paraylzed from the chest down. Cedarbook Media