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Hope Landing: Making a Difference One Child at A Time

Meet Henlea Stevens, a 4-year-old patient at Hope Landing in Part-Two of our Special Report.

This is Part-Two of our Special Report on Hope Landing.  Click Here for Part-One

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EL DORADO, AR. - Like Most 4-year-olds, Henlea Stevens is ball of energy. She enjoys swimming, playing with her friends and keeping her parent’s on their toes. However, unlike most 4-year-olds, she’s spent a good part of her young life in physical therapy at Hope Landing, a pediatric medical facility for families in south Arkansas.  

When arrives for therapy, she’s ready to get going.

Her Parents Willis & Randa Stevens say Hope Landing is nothing short of a blessing.    

“They’ve given a life to our child, that she would have never had, if Hope Landing wasn’t here,” says Randa.

When she was born, Willis admits, they didn’t know where to go.

“We had come to the realization that we were just going to have to travel, we were going to have to go to Little Rock every day or two, three times a week for therapy,” adds Willis.

Henlea’s been coming to here since she was just 3-weeks-old, which is not uncommon.

“Some of the kids we get shortly after birth, and we really get to see those transitional stages to where their crawling and walking,” says Henlea’s therapist, Sam Allen. “A few of them stay up until their adolescence.”

Although last year Henlea was officially diagnosed with Arthrogryposis - a condition affecting her joints, the therapy remains the same: A mixture of play and strength building. 

“We’ll do two hand holds for larger balls; we get weighted balls, and get them to raise their hands above their heads,” adds Allen.

Being able to throw a ball is huge, considering that as an infant, some doctors said she’d never walk.

“The biggest reward now a days is when I come home from work, she can run across the kitchen and say ‘hi daddy’ and you know that’s the greatest thing to us,” says Willis. He adds,  “It might not seem very much to anybody else, but for her to be able to run across the kitchen and see me, we’ve come so far to get to that point so it’s truly a blessing.”

The welcoming atmosphere and personal connections are what makes milestones possible.

“Hospitals environments are sometimes so cold and professional and they’re there to do their job. Out here, it really is a home environment.”

For therapists, the feeling is mutual

“They recognize you as a friend and not just a therapist, and that’s always great.”

Henlea says her favorite part is swimming in the pool:

“You gotta kick, kick, kick and wear your floaty and swimsuit!”

The Stevens and other parents are now doing their part to give back to Hope Landing.  They’ve started the Hope Box Project.  They have placed boxes at various shops and restaurants throughout south Arkansas to collect everyday items the facility needs, like paper-towels or wet-wipes.  They say every dollar not spent on these items, is another dollar to help children like Henlea.

 

Here’s a list of those shops:

  • Poppy's Pizza in Parkers Chapel

  • Regions Bank 100 E. Peach St. El Dorado

  • South Arkansas Collision in Strong

  • The Gallery of Shops on the Square beside Spa on Main

  • Yocum Primary

  • North College Salon on College St. El Dorado

  • Brookshires by the college in El Dorado.

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