Building Strength

Juan lowers himself into the water, keeping his eyes on Citlali, his physical therapist. She encourages him, pushing him to walk towards her in the pool. Juan, an 18-year old who has lived at Rancho de los Niños for the last ten years, is receiving hydrotherapy as an additional part of his physical therapy. Juan has long suffered from scoliosis. He can walk on his own, but his condition makes it difficult and oftentimes painful; Juan’s knees are unable to straighten and he struggles to maintain balance or stand up straight, causing continual stress on his joints and bones.

“Juan recently went to the doctor and received the good news that he will not need surgery,” explains Monique Rivera, Back2Back staff member. “He will need extensive therapy in order to get stronger.” The doctor recommended hydrotherapy as the best choice for Juan, so after locating a local facility, the work began.

A visiting mission team from Lifepoint recently came to Mazatlán and Andy Schmidt, a physical therapist for over 20 years, volunteered to help in Juan’s therapy during his stay. Andy and Citlali worked together in the water with Juan; Citlali was able to learn new techniques to best serve Juan as he takes steps towards gaining strength.

Juan’s hydrotherapy is once a week. Right now he tires easily, but he is excited to be working towards goals, often asking to stay longer in the water.

“He gets fatigued easily, but pushes himself a little bit more each time,” shares Monique. “As his strength increases, Citlali plans to add more days each week for his therapy schedule.”

Back2Back Mazatlán is looking into training local volunteers on hydrotherapy so Juan can continually receive the assistance he needs with additional, able hands willing to help.

Thank you for partnering in adding strength to each child’s story as we provide care for today and hope for every tomorrow.