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Sacred Heart graduate battling rare illness that causes paralysis

Paige Enyhart and her family are now hoping the community can help them make necessary changes to her home so it's ready when she leaves the hospital in July.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Paige Enyhart was trying on dresses with her sister when she said all of her joints in her upper body felt like they dislocated. Enyhart was a couple of weeks from turning 18 and graduating high school.

She was focused on the future when she found herself battling for the present.

"I was a quiet kid at Sacred Heart," Enyart said. "I was just there to get my work done.  You have your regrets when you graduate, you're like 'I should have done this' and 'I should have done that.' I should have joined all the clubs."

On April 24, Enyhart's life changed fast. She was taken to the hospital because of pain in her neck and shoulders. Twelve hours later she was being tubed and placed on a respirator. 

"Transverse myelitis which is the inflammation of the spinal cord," her mom Heather said when asked about her diagnosis. "Hers, unfortunately, is C2-C4 and affects everything below that."

Enyhart 's breathing, ability to walk, even move her hands, all changed. But her sense of humor is completely unshaken. 

"It was terrible being mute for a month!" Enyhart said. "I'm so talkative. Sometimes, you get a good lip reader and sometimes you get someone who doesn't know the difference in 'blanket' and 'blinds' so they're closing and opening the blinds when I just want my blanket off of me."

Enyhart and her mother are eyeing a July release date, but there have to be significant changes made to their home and Enyhart 's room before she can be released. 

"We have to have a way to get her in and out, obviously, access ramps, doors widened," Heather said.

They're calling on their community, who has already given love and support, to financially contribute if they can. Enyhart has this message for anyone wondering how to feel or what to think after hearing about her story. 

"Never take anything for granted," she said. "Walking, sitting your head up, moving your shoulders, moving your hands, kicking, everything is such a blessing. I wish everyone would learn to appreciate the things they have."

If you would like to donate, you can click here to donate to her GoFundMe.

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