“What a little super star and only four years old,” commented a True Strides volunteer. “Miss Maddie has been a poster child for riding therapy from the first day we met her,” said Shari Mangas, Director of True Strides. “She always tries her very best at everything and with a smile.” She is bit strong-willed and perseveres at whatever she is up against. This has come in handy as her first few months of life required her to be a fighter.
Maddie’s Health Struggles
According to Melissa Hadfield, Maddie’s mom, Maddie was born with a complex heart anomaly. With this cardiac anomaly, they were told it would require multiple open heart surgeries to repair. After five open heart surgeries and almost her entire first year spent in the hospital, Maddie was very weak. They began PT, OT and speech therapy through early childhood educational services and then started clinical versions of these therapies when she was two years old.
After a year of therapy, Maddie’s family was looking for something more to strengthen her core and attention span. They were introduced to the benefits of hippotherapy and began sessions in June of 2014. Hippotherapy is occupational or physical therapy that utilizes a horse in the treatment. Since Maddie started, there has been vast improvement in her core strength, improvement in lowering her apprehensiveness in social situations and increased hand/eye coordination. “The True Strides program has been such a great tool to aid in building confidence and strength. The team has been excellent to [...]