A mom is warning others about the dangers of trampolines after her daughter was paralyzed from the mid-chest down after a trampoline accident. Last month, Mary Maloney was jumping on a trampoline unsupervised when she landed on her head and neck.
Her mom, Pam Surano, describes her thirteen-year-old daughter as “very acrobatic, extremely athletic.”
“To be honest, she was probably doing everything parents warn their kids not to do alone,” Surano, 50, told the Tribune-Review. She also mentioned that the trampoline had a safety net to keep Mary from falling off.
When she first fell, Mary felt like she tweaked something, but it wasn’t until hours of pain later that she realized she couldn’t move, TODAY reports. Her father drove her to the hospital, where she was placed in a wheelchair and soon lost the ability to sit up on her own. Surano describes what happened next as a “series of nightmares.”
Despite Mary’s initial CT scan and MRI finding nothing out of the ordinary, later scans discovered a spinal stroke in the area that controls her legs and feet. A spinal stroke is a rare condition caused by a lack of blood supply to the spinal cord.
After spending six days in the ICU at UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Mary is now recovering in a rehabilitation facility. It’s too soon to know if the paralysis is permanent.
“If you touch her thigh or her leg or her foot, she can feel you touching them,” Surano said. “That’s a big win and we’ll take it.”
Surano doesn’t want to blame anybody for the accident, but she says she would “never advocate anyone use the trampoline.” According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than 300,000 medically treated trampoline injuries in 2018.
More than 90 percent of trampoline injuries are sustained by children, mostly between the ages of five and fourteen.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recommends that children are under careful adult supervision when jumping. They also recommend that adults regularly ensure the trampoline is in good condition, from the supporting bars and springs to the protective net and padding.
Currently, Mary and her family are staying optimistic.
“I really just feel that Mary is going to have a miracle,” Surano told TODAY. “All this love that we received in our hearts, it’s spilling out. We just cannot wait to give it all back.”
They have set up a GoFundMe account to help with medical expenses.