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Diving into Rehab: Marianjoy’s Aquatic Fitness Center Helps Little Girl Walk

Camee receiving aquatic therapy with Ginny Girten, Marianjoy physical therapist.

When Camee first came to Marianjoy, her referring doctor and family hoped Marianjoy’s aquatic therapy program would be able to help her stand and walk with assistance. Born with a type of neurotransmitter disorder, Camee had difficulty with the strength and flexibility needed for both activities.

Camee not only improved with the program; she flourished. “The warm-water pool was Heaven to Camee,” says her mother, Pam. “It allowed Camee’s muscles to relax to get the most mobility she could get, reducing the tone in her muscles so she could work on strength.”

Ginny Girten, physical therapist and Marianjoy Pediatric Liaison, explains how aquatic therapy has helped Camee and other patients like her: “Marianjoy’s pool is quite warm, over 90 degrees, and that helps to alleviate spasticity or muscle tightness. When exercises are repeated, the water’s buoyancy encourages muscle memory that improves mobility outside the water. In addition, aquatic therapy increases muscle strength and helps improve circulation.”

With strengthening and flexibility from aquatic therapy, as well as Botox injections from Dr. Mary Keen, Medical Director of Pediatric Rehabilitation, Camee is now able to walk on her own. She has also received physical, occupational, and speech therapy at Marianjoy, all of which have contributed towards her independence. After her success with the pool, Camee is already planning to become more active with swimming, running, and gymnastics.

“Everything Camee does is with passion,” says Pam. “The people at Marianjoy share that passion; they are always thinking outside the box to find a way for Camee to achieve her goals. We have learned there is nothing she can’t accomplish, with the right resources—she will get it.”