Ben was healthy and happy when he developed his first cold. Within three days Ben was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit and diagnosed with acute flaccid myelitis, or AFM, a rare, polio-like illness that affects the spinal cord causing paralysis. Ben was paralyzed from the neck down, only able to move his right hand. Upon doctor recommendation, Ben started riding at Lovelane and the transformation was remarkable. His chest and belly muscles began to gain strength and improve enough so that he can now sit up by himself! Breathing and intestinal issues have greatly improved and the increased breath support has encouraged Ben’s speech. Today, he never stops talking!
M.E was born with cerebral palsy and a complex neurological and developmental profile. M.E has many challenges she confronts every day, including navigating the world with a walker, trying to be understood, and making the world accessible. Lovelane has provided her an inclusive community that is not only her “happy place” but also an environment that teems with positive energy.
Lovelane is accessible to Anika without restrictions or accommodations. Every other activity in Anika’s life, including reading, riding a bike and brushing her teeth, requires help from others or adaptive equipment. When riding a horse at Lovelane, Anika is a typical child.
It was because of Lovelane we knew David could communicate. His instructor had taught him the sign for “horseback riding” and it was at Lovelane where he first used that sign. He had made a connection between the tactile sign and what was happening.
When the words Spina Bifida were said during our 20-week ultrasound we were in shock. We did not know what this would entail for our life and our family going forward. We were told that due to the severity of our baby’s condition she would most likely need a wheelchair. At that moment, an activity such as horseback riding seemed completely out of the picture….. Five years later, she is her best self at Lovelane. She is outgoing and confident. She feels supported and cared for by the staff. Her medical team has credited her riding at Lovelane to helping her recover from surgery, gaining strength and improving her balance. As her parents, the smile on her face when she rides would have been enough.