Graduating senior with functional neurological disorder to walk across graduation stage in Cibolo

By Patty Santos - Reporter, Robert Samarron - Photojournalist

CIBOLO, Texas - A graduating senior in Cibolo is hoping to make her teachers, family and therapy team proud by walking the graduation stage Thursday.

Cayley Lett, 18, was diagnosed with functional neurological disorder after a golf cart crash in Houston in 2016.

“I hit my forehead right here and then the back of my skull right here pretty quickly. It was like whiplash, and I didn't pass out. I was OK,” Lett said, pointing to where she was injured.

But it was in the hours, weeks and years after that her body began to act differently. She started with slurred speech, then she had constant vomiting and then she eventually lost her ability to walk.

“It just kept getting more numb and more numb, way past my knees, and it didn't really make sense,” Lett said.

Lett, a once active member of a golf team and the theater club, is wheelchair-bound. She missed out on her prom because of her condition. 

“I do have a lot of sensitivities to lights, and even now, I can't go to the movies or listen to loud music because of my sensory issues that are still prominent,” she said.

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Lett moved to Cibolo and started at Steele High School during her junior year, but she has been so sick since then that she couldn’t attend class and eventually had to stay home.

Lett never got to form friendships, but she’s looking forward to making her teachers, with whom she bonded, and her therapy team proud by walking the stage.

“I decided to just be able to say goodbye to this high school journey, and I'm excited to start college life,” she said.

Lett has found inspiration from others who have the same condition, including Morgan Coultress. KSAT told you Coultress’ story last year when she walked her own graduation stage. 

The two young women have become friends. Lett hopes to help others, as well.

“Hopefully, I'll be able to be walking by myself again, but if not, that's OK,” Lett said. “I've come to terms with it, but I am working really hard to try to walk without assistance again.”

Doctors haven’t said if Lett’s condition will get better or worse.

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