Kyia Agee's life as an active, fun-loving teenager came to a sudden halt in the spring of 2018. The 13-year-old awoke, climbed out of bed and collapsed. She had no feeling in her legs and was unable to move them. At the emergency department, doctors discovered a large benign tumor on her spinal cord.
Within days, Kyia underwent successful surgery to remove the tumor. After surgery, she remained paralyzed from the waist down and unable to sit without support. It was terrifying for the girl who loved climbing trees and playing outdoors with her brothers.
But Kyia was determined to return to those pastimes. She began working with physical and occupational therapists at Memorial Health's outpatient rehab facility in Pooler a month after surgery.
Kyia's therapists say it was her own faith in God, hard work and the support of her family that have helped her make a miraculous recovery. Gradually, she progressed from using a wheelchair, to braces on both legs and using a walker, to one leg brace and a crutch. Most of the feeling has returned to her left leg and she is now walking with only one leg brace and a cane.
Kyia says she is now able to walk around her house and in familiar areas even without the cane!
Less than a year later, Kyia was back singing - while standing - with her eighth-grade school chorus. She's not up in the trees again yet, but with continued therapy she expects to return to her "normal" self.
The therapists say Kyia's enthusiasm and positive outlook are contagious, providing inspiration and hope to everyone she meets. It's why they call Kyia their "hero."