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Paige Raque Making Progress Weeks After 39-Foot Fall

by on October 31, 2012 2:09 PM

Paige Raque, the 19-year-old Penn State cheerleader who fell 39 feet from a fifth-floor three weeks ago, has been transferred out of the ICU to a rehabilitation hospital and is showing progress, Randy Jepson, family spokesman and Penn State men's gymnastics coach said on Wednesday. 

Raque has moved all four of her limbs, Jepson said, but she is still unable to speak and needs a feeding tube to eat, as she cannot do it on her own. She has, however, showed responsiveness to commands and is recognizing people. 

"At some point, they're hoping to transfer her back home," Jepson said. "Mom and Dad are by her side." The Raque family is from Louisville, KY. 

Raque has started her rehabilitation and doctors are "hopeful she'll progress," Jepson said. 

At 11:46 p.m. on Oct. 13, State College Police were called to Calder Commons, where Raque had fallen out of an open window on the fifth floor. She was life flighted to the trauma center at Altoona Regional Health Center where it was confirmed that she sustained brain injuries. 

Police said the incident is still under investigation. 

Her brother, Parker Raque – captain of the Penn State men's gymnastics team – has kept the Penn State community informed via his Twitter account (@RaqueBalboa). On Oct. 25, he tweeted: "Paige said her first words tonight!! #prayforpaige God is listening!"

At the onset of her injury, the hashtag #prayforpaige appeared on Twitter and has since been a way for her supporters to keep in touch and stay up-to-date on her progress. On Oct. 18, hundreds of students, including Raque's fellow cheerleaders, sat in the West Gym of Rec Hall on campus and held a prayer vigil for Raque's recovery. 

Laura Nichols is a news reporter and @LC_Nichols on Twitter.
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