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Background Image: Phys Rehab Patient

Splashing and playing in the pool may represent some of the most carefree and joyful days of childhood. And any parent knows the corresponding satisfaction, watching your kids experience so much happiness. 

Brandy Taylor is just like any other mom when she watches her son, Brody Pelroy, play in the pool every week with his occupational therapist. Diagnosed with a chromosome abnormality called Ring 14 Syndrome when he was 4 months old, Pelroy has limited mobility, seizures and severe autism. 

“Last week I saw him jump in the pool during his therapy — something I never even imagined he could do,” said Taylor. “It was so amazing.” 

At the age of 8, Pelroy does not talk and no longer walks following a period of seizures that set back his physical progress. Taylor takes him to therapy to strengthen his abilities but also to bring him joy. 

“Swim therapy is something he loves. He laughs and smiles and has a great time,” said Taylor. “I try to make sure he never misses a session.”

During swim therapy Pelroy uses his hands to splash, makes swim movements with his arms, kicks his legs and dunks his face in the water. Even these simple activities have a special purpose. The water lets Pelroy stretch his muscles and helps him understand how to coordinate his movements so his body does what he wants it to. The closeness with his therapist has improved his eye contact and tolerance for having his hands and face touched. His hand grasp is becoming stronger.

Despite this headway no one knows what the future holds for Pelroy. Elevated seizure activity can easily take away all the progress he’s made. But Taylor doesn’t give up.

“Brody continually amazes me and I’ve learned that I shouldn’t limit him,” she said. “I don’t want him to live in a tiny box. I want to give him the best chance to walk and talk, which therapy does, and there’s so much out there for him to experience. I want to engage his body and his mind. But mostly I just want him to be the healthiest and happiest that he can be.”

Donations to the Good Samaritan Hospital Foundation help make therapy like Brody’s possible, with more than $50,000 in support granted to physical rehabilitation needs in 2016. Purchases include equipment, patient support items, continuing education for staff, educational resources for patients and more.