National Ability Center Equestrian Participant Story: Ava & Bridgy

National Ability Center Equestrian Participant Story: Ava & Bridgy


Here we go! Good girl She’s ready to rock and roll now When they told us Aicardi Syndrome I just kept thinking what do you mean syndrome… that can’t be right. And so we kind of left the hospital with no hope They just told us to warn our child that we thought we had and if we wanted to do genetic testing for our next child um… to go ahead and do that. And I was like, well, what about this kid I have here? So we went home and did some research and met amazing people. Our world collapsed and then it opened up when we found out about all the other opportunities. So Bridge started hippotherapy when she was three and she rode once a week and when she started, she couldn’t sit up without assistance and she couldn’t walk. And so I attribute her walking to riding. And she loves it! For us, it’s amazing that we can come to a place where she is so loved and cared for and that there is so many things that she can do. We’re really active people and so for us to be able to do stuff with her and then with our friends here as well It has opened up our world! We have such a great life. And I attribute it to the National Ability Center. That’s huge that she has all these peers and her little friend, Ava totally takes care of her. And adores her almost to a fault But bridge just looks to Ava, and she can see how much Ava can do and that Bridgy can actually ride next to Ava. Ava has a very mothering quality about her. And the minute that she met Bridgy she wanted to take care of her and then they ended up in class together and, yeah, she just loves to take care of her. She always has a smile on her face and I play with her and help her do stuff As Ava develops herself as a child growing up doing her activities at the NAC and interacting with other kids at the NAC and, of course, all the people that work here that are so amazing and in tune to her special needs… I just, I tell my husband at least once a month, “Ava’s going to work a the NAC someday” And I can see that in her relationship with Bridgy. I like the National Ability Center because you can do a lot of things here like the… a lot of things here! I do horseback riding and skiing and I’m a good horseback rider. I think places like the National Ability Center are such a great community asset. And to see the joy that not only the participants but also all the volunteers and the interns and, you know, the therapists… It’s just such a positive for all of us. My greatest hope is really just for her to have fun You know, I love to see her get stronger and walk better and maybe speak, I mean, that’s just the dream But day-to-day, if she just has a great time every day that’s how we live our lives, day-to-day, it’s a win-win. I have left the hospital saying, you know, she’s not going to do anything. And when she’s, you know, biking and riding horses and swimming and skiing… which I mean, that’s unbelievable in itself that we can ski as a family It’s something that I never dreamed of. Seriously never dreamed of. I feel so fortunate I mean, we brag about this place all the time. It’s truly amazing. If we didn’t have this place we would be struggling to get her involved in things with her typical peers and it’s challenging. It’s challenging… so it’s truly a gift.

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