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Hazel's Journey: A Tale of Triumph and Compassion

  • Date Submitted: Mar 6, 2024
  • Category: Physical Therapy

Hazel Smith, age 4, began her journey with Good Samaritan's pediatric therapy three years ago. Since then, her life has been a testament to resilience, perseverance, and the unwavering support of a dedicated team of therapists. With each passing session, Hazel has made progress and touched the hearts of those around her with her infectious spirit and determination.

"Good Samaritan Therapy has been a lifeline for us," says Hazel's mother, Ashley Smith. "They've been with us every step of the way, cheering Hazel on and helping her overcome obstacles we once thought insurmountable."

Her sessions, lasting 30 minutes each, have become a cornerstone of her routine, a time when she tackles challenges head-on with the guidance of her therapists. Despite the obstacles she faced, Hazel's outpatient physical therapy at Good Samaritan has been nothing short of transformative. From being unable to walk at the age of 2 1/2 to taking her first steps with a pediatric walker under the guidance of Rachel Hayden, Good Samaritan Physical Therapist, to eventually shedding the walker and running around freely, Hazel's progress has been remarkable. "Mrs. Rachel's dedication and advocacy played a pivotal role in accelerating Hazel's journey to mobility," Ashley reflects, "We owe so much to her and the entire therapy team."

The communication and collaboration between the Good Samaritan team and Hazel's family have been exemplary. Dr. Jerick Pacheco, Hazel's pediatrician, has been a steadfast source of support since her days in the NICU, providing guidance and reassurance every step of the way. The seamless coordination between Hazel's physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy ensures holistic care and continuity in her treatment journey.

During her therapy sessions, Hazel engages in a variety of exercises and activities tailored to her needs and preferences. From tip-toeing and skipping to balancing on one leg and jumping, she tackles each challenge with determination and enthusiasm, fueled by the encouragement of her therapists.

"The therapists at Good Samaritan truly care about Hazel's well-being," Ashley emphasizes. "They make her feel seen, heard and supported every step of the way. It's like being part of a family."

As Hazel continues to progress, her family cherishes the countless success stories and memorable moments that have defined her therapy journey. "Every milestone Hazel achieves feels like a victory for our entire family," stated Ashley. "We're so grateful for the compassionate care she receives at Good Samaritan."

Through the dedication and compassion of her therapists—Rachel Hayden, Mindi Stimler and Tara Cardinal—Hazel has not only overcome physical obstacles but has also blossomed into a confident and vibrant young girl. Their commitment to going above and beyond for Hazel and her family has left an indelible mark, creating a supportive environment where Hazel can thrive and be herself.

As Hazel's journey with Good Samaritan's pediatric therapy continues, her family remains grateful for the unwavering support and compassion that have guided her every step of the way. With each milestone reached and every hurdle overcome, Hazel's story serves as a reminder of the transformative power of empathy, dedication, and love of Good Samaritan caregivers.Top of Form