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Borms rebounds from injuries, returns to gym
Redmond High gymnast’s neck and spine have healed after fall on floor exercise
Tami Borms said her daughter Kaylee had done her floor exercise a “million times” without suffering an injury.
However, last October, while the Redmond High senior gymnast was trying to nail a back layout half during practice at the Northwest Aerials gym in Kirkland, something went horribly wrong.
“She forgot where she was in the air and landed on her head,” Tami said. “When she first fell, she couldn’t move, but then quickly after that she was able to move. But her whole body was tingling. She ended up in Harborview (Medical Center in Seattle) for three days; she had a bulging disc, a slight fracture between (discs) three and four.”
Kaylee spent six weeks in a neck brace and never thought she’d compete in gymnastics — the sport she’s loved since she was 3 years old — again.
Slowly, but surely, the 17-year-old regained her strength and confidence and was eventually cleared by her doctors to join the Redmond High squad this season.
Mustang coach Jason Farr said he was floored when Kaylee showed up at practice one day in her neck brace and handed over her athletic release forms. A few weeks later, she was back in the gym. She missed the first few meets, but is now competing against 4A Kingco teams — and, most importantly, spending time with her friends and coach.
Farr said that Kaylee’s been throwing back handsprings on beam and giants on bars, but Kaylee notes that she’s taking it easy on floor and vault — the toughest events to tackle because of her injuries.
“When I came into this, I really didn’t care what my scores would be. But they’ve been higher than what I’ve predicted that I could do, so I’ve been happy with them,” Kaylee said. “I have considered it a blessing to be able to come back and I know I shouldn’t risk it all, so that’s why I’ve been scaling back. (I just want to) get out there and to be able to sweat a little at practice with my friends.”
Added Farr: “I didn’t expect her to compete at all this year and now she’s placing in the top 10 at meets again. That is one tough kid. She deserves a shot at a state berth for the effort alone.”
Kaylee fell short of districts and state last year when she broke her right foot on the vault at the Kingco championships. Farr feels that Kaylee would have made state last year and again this year if she wasn’t plagued by injuries.
“I felt terrible. It was like getting hit by a truck when she told me (about her neck and spine injuries). After the way last season ended for her, I wanted so badly to help her get to state, and this happened,” Farr said.
Tami noted that Kaylee — who made districts as a sophomore and has a career-high score of 9.35 on beam — has a chromosome disorder and has fought juvenile rheumatoid arthritis since she was 3 years old. It makes her prone to injury and because of that she wears wrist and ankle support straps.
“It’s been a challenge forever, but she always seemed to get by it,” Tami said, adding that Kaylee’s whole face was paralyzed after taking some medication about a year ago.
Tami didn’t want Kaylee to jump back into gymnastics after her latest injury, but said that, “It’s just something that’s in her soul and you can’t tear her away from it, so I let her go back.”
“I tell you, she’s fought through so much in her life,” Tami said. “She looks great out there.”
Kaylee admitted to being scared during her first meet back, especially on floor, but she summoned her bravery to compete and credited her teammates and coach for their show of support.
“And it’s really me trusting in the Lord, I’m a Christian, so it’s really been just praying that he’ll keep me safe,” she said with a smile.