SPECIAL REPORT: Hope Landing Provides Stability, Therapy for South Arkansas Families


EL DORADO, AR. - Just 10 years ago, if a family in South Arkansas needed special physical therapy for their children, the only option was to hop in the car and drive hours away.

Today, that’s no longer an issue thanks to Hope Landing.

To some, this 80-acre plot of land outside of El Dorado may look like a normal farm if you’re passing by on Highway 82.  But for the families and children of South Arkansas: it’s a ray of Hope.

Hope Landing is a state-of-the-art pediatric medical facility for children in south Arkansas

“Our Initial vision was to provide a place in a natural setting that was not in a sterile environment like a Hospital.” Christy Lowery is one of the founders; she says in 2006, they opened their doors to just sixteen children.

“Today we serve over 350 children.  And this year alone we made 16,500 visits to those children,” said Lowery.

Those visits include Occupational, Physical and Speech and Language therapies, all with a twist. Sam Allen’s physical therapy gym is an assortment of basketballs, leap frogs and balance beams. Just outside is a pool, for warm weather aqua-therapy

“We try to make therapy engaging for the child. Make it as play-based as possible, so it seems like we’re not doing specific tasks, but actually doing play,” said Allen.

But inside the big red barn, kids receive what’s called Hippotherapy: or therapy with the help of horses.  

“The movement of the horse is very similar to the normal gate pattern, so it gets that movement with the pelvis and the trunk. It works on stabilization of the trunk. It also works for kids with a lot of high tone. It’s also a fun environment.”

Allen says these activities make his job worthwhile.   

“It’s really exciting. It’s really rewarding to work with a kid. Some of the kids we get shortly after birth, and we really get to see those transitional stages to where their crawling and walking.”

The best part about Hope Landing, is that treatment is guaranteed..

“Regardless of the family’s ability to pay, we service the children, and we do that through private contributions and local grants and of course with the help of our community who has supported us from day one,” adds Lowery.

Those contributions are making sure that children and families can focus on one thing: getting better. 

Join us tomorrow as we speak with one of those families, and one very special little girl, in Part-two of our Series on Hope Landing.  

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