CHULA VISTA, Calif. --
Extraordinary measures were taken last week to bring a teenager back from Mexico after she became paralyzed while visiting the country.
If Border Patrol agents see U.S. citizens or anyone else trying to come into the country anywhere other than an official port of entry, the person is normally detained. But in the face of a medical emergency, the Border Patrol made an exception for a 14-year-old girl.
Though she is walking now, a week ago, 14-year-old Christina Rubio feared she would be paralyzed for life.
"I couldn't feel my legs," she said. "I tried to get up and I couldn't."
The 14-year-old was in Mexico at her grandfather's home. It is only about a hundred feet away from the U.S.-Mexico border, but a world away from medical care.
Rubio's grandmother was near the town of Jacumba, Calif. when she received the call. She raced to the border fence, where she could see her granddaughter.
"I mean, she was scared... [saying,] 'Nana, I can't move my legs,'" said Monica Rubio, the teen's grandmother.
Border Patrol agents first waited for the grandfather to try and lift the girl over the fence. When that failed, agents waited for permission from Washington, D.C. to try a different approach.
"One of the border [agents] said, 'Well, there's a fence down there that we open it on big, big emergencies,'" said the teen's grandmother. "So he says, 'Let me get the OK,' so he calls."
Authorization finally came and Rubio was carried into the United States. She is currently undergoing testing since the initial screening gave her a clean bill of health.
The Border Patrol says although its priority is enforcing the nation's immigration laws, it does humanitarian work. Since last October, they have assisted in 17 rescues.
Copyright 2012 by 10News.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.