Once Bella’s heart condition had stabilized and she was allowed to be upright, she was discharged from the cardiac unit and waited for a space to become available in an intensive inpatient rehab facility – one did a few weeks afterwards. This experience, unfortunately, did not provide the hours of therapy needed each day and left Bella once again spending the majority of her day lying in a hospital bed. At this time, she moved back home and was living out of the dining room, because it was on the lower level of her family’s home. She didn’t have the ability to navigate the stairs to go up to her room. This loss of independence and privacy was hard and humiliating for her. Meanwhile, her family was searching desperately to find services that would help Bella and her mobility.
In talking with her network, Suzi was eventually connected to Wave Therapies, which is an aquatic therapy practice that improves strength, balance, and range of motion using the unique environment of a pool. Bella has been having weekly sessions for many months. Owner Jennifer Martyn has 25 years of experience and many of her clients are in wheelchairs. It was at Jennifer’s referral that Bella’s family found Pushing Boundaries and soon began sessions.
In addition, Jennifer recommended Waypoint Pediatric Therapies as another therapy resource. Allison, and the team at Waypoint, have been wholeheartedly supportive of PB and our clients that crossover between our two organizations.
These two providers that are part of Bella’s care team in addition to Pushing Boundaries are important to note, because according to her parents, for the first time in her treatment journey it feels like a comprehensive team coming together to communicate, share ideas, and work together all for her benefit.
At Bella’s first PB session, her family was introduced to the incredible Exercise Therapist team, specifically Sumi who was her lead provider. Suzi said, “in that moment, we knew we were in such good hands.” Prior to their first session, Sumi had researched the FND diagnosis and came prepared with knowledge and a treatment path to best help Bella. Suzi said, “it was important to Sumi to understand what she was treating both from a physical standpoint and also to understand how to connect with Bella as a human being. What words to use with Bella to encourage her. I have so much respect for Sumi and what she did in that short time. She really hit the ground running from day one with her preparation and research on FND.”
A pivotal moment was the first time that Bella’s family saw her standing and walking using the Indego Exoskeleton – it brought tears to their eyes.
Come back tomorrow for the first day of GiveBIG and more of Bella's story!