A look ahead: Taking one for the team can leave devastating inju - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Taking one for the team can leave devastating injuries

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Krista Robinson survived her devastating injury as a then-U of M cheerleader. Krista Robinson survived her devastating injury as a then-U of M cheerleader.
© Three crushed vertebrae temporarily paralyzed her; swelling in her brain required life-threatening surgery. © Three crushed vertebrae temporarily paralyzed her; swelling in her brain required life-threatening surgery.
At P-T Squared in Collierville, she now nurses injured patients back to health through physical therapy. At P-T Squared in Collierville, she now nurses injured patients back to health through physical therapy.
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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A sports injury could kill any athlete taking one for the team.

A Collierville woman fought to regain her speech, strength, and life back after falling head first from a 15-foot high pyramid during cheerleading practice. But Krista Robinson survived her devastating injury as a then-U of M cheerleader.

"And I remember I hit like you would dive into a swimming pool with no water essentially. And I just remember my whole body being tingly and going numb," she said, recalling her 2003 accident.

Three crushed vertebrae temporarily paralyzed her; swelling in her brain required life-threatening surgery.

"They gave a 50-50 chance of working and surviving," said Robinson. "The days of trial and error for throwing kids around needs to be done."

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, cheerleaders account for two-thirds of catastrophic injuries among high school girl athletes.

Despite Robinson's catastrophic injury, she never gave up. She now works for the National Cheer Safety Foundation, fighting to make cheerleading an official sport that would require strict safety guidelines.

At P-T Squared in Collierville, she nurses injured patients back to health through physical therapy.

"It's that much more fulfilling to do what we're doing because of what I've gone through," said Robinson. "The one thing that I never lost was the motivation to do it."

Her husband, Josh, is her biggest cheerleader.

"She's tough. She's my hero," he said. "She could have been handicapped she could have been depressed in her life. What did she do? She opened up something to help people that went through the same thing she went through."

The Robinsons will be cheering for Team USA during the winter games. They hope parents will demand safety for their children so they, too, can go on to become champions.

"Who knows where they could get to? Pro level, Olympic level? The sky's the limit," said BLANK.

Krista offers this advice for parents: Before signing up your child for school sports, ask the if coaches are certified trainers who have CPR and first aid training.

Click here to read more about cheer safety.

Have you, a friend, or a family member ever been injured playing any type of sport for a school or organization? Join our conversation about it on the Action News 5 Facebook page.

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