Community raising money for paralyzed Estill County teen

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ESTILL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - On August 5th 16-year-old old Estill County High School junior Jackie Miller was practicing gymnastics on the first day of school.

After a routine flip, she felt an odd pain in her back.

"It felt like a pinched nerve in my back and it was just kind of like a really tingly pain," Miller said. She says the pain quickly got worse.

When her right leg went numb, Jackie's family rushed her to UK Children's Hospital.

"Then it just went up across my hips, down my left leg, and then it started to work its way up my waist," Miller said.

Doctors diagnosed Miller with Surfer's Myelopathy, a rare hyper-extension of the spinal cord typical among surfers. According to Jackie's doctors she is the first confirmed case of Surfer's Myelopathy in a gymnast in the United States, and of the 62 people affected by it, only two have never walked again.

To help raise money for a new wheelchair and renovations to the Millers' home to make it more accessible to Jackie, community members are hosting the "High Heels and Hot Wheels Cruise" car show and auction this Sunday.

Those close to her say despite the situation, she's been an inspiration.

"For someone at 16 to have that kind of heart and that kind of understanding and have that faith, it makes a difference in you," family friend Beth O'Hair said.

Doctors say it could take up to two years for Jackie to walk again. Her mom says she has no doubt her daughter will succeed.

"You never let anyone tell you you can't do something. If it's in your heart, do it. You can do it," Audrea Miller said. "She's doing it and it's inspired me."

The fundraiser is from 12:00-6:00 Sunday, September 27th at Citizens Guaranty Bank on River Drive in Irvine.

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