Docs amazed after 6-year-old paralyzed by backbend takes first steps

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Doctors and physical therapists are marveling at a 6-year-old girl who is making unexpected progress after a simple backbend in her living room left her paralyzed.

Eden Hoelscher, a first-grader from Palos Verdes, California, took her first steps in July while undergoing treatment at the Frazier Rehabilitation Institute in Louisville, Kentucky, PEOPLE reported. The backbend had previously hyperextended her spine and triggered a stroke in her spinal cord, rendering her senseless and motionless from the waist down.

“She has made an amazing recovery,” her mother, Kylee Hoelscher, told the website.

The Hoelschers relocated to Louisville so Eden can receive therapy at the facility, where she does locomotor training and works one on one with physical therapists.

One day, the therapists started walking Eden’s legs for her and Eden suddenly began moving herself.

“Her therapist was holding her, and [her friend] Violet and Eden started sword fighting again and Eden started taking a step toward Violet,” Kylee told PEOPLE. “They were kind of holding her, so they were supporting some of her weight, but she started taking steps around the room and then into the hallway.”

Eden continues to do physical therapy five days a week, and although she has days where she feels dispirited, has hope for more improvement, PEOPLE reported.

“She does have rough days where she says, ‘Mom, am I ever going to get better?’ ” Kylee told the website. “I had her watch the video of her taking steps and said, ‘What do you think?’ She looked at me and said, ‘Yeah. I am.’ ”

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Among Eden’s milestones are scooting around the floor and bumping up and down stairs in lieu of being carried, as well as washing her hair, brushing her teeth, and getting dressed by herself. The family posts updates about her progress on her Facebook page, Stand for Eden.

“Obviously, we all have our bad days, but you can’t think about what you lost and what’s different or you just wouldn’t get out of bed,” Kylee told PEOPLE. “You have to think about what you still have and what you can still do.”