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All ages benefit from new therapy program

Elmore helps clients with motor skills

Earlier this year Hayley Hall Elmore came home to do what she loves – occupational therapy.

Elmore is practicing pediatric and geriatric occupational therapy in Opp and two people have benefitting from her work.

The first, Elizabeth Taylor, suffered a spinal cord injury; the second, Paisleigh Mack, has Down Syndrome.

Taylor said she was released from the Shepherd Center and was given references to outpatient facilities in the Opp area, the closest of which was Dothan.

“Since I was seeking a facility closer to me, I called Andalusia Hospital and was told they had only physical therapy, and did not offer any occupational therapy services,” she said. “They suggested that I try Opp Health and Rehab and Nursing Home, which I did, and was told they only had inpatient services. It was then that I was referred to Mizell Memorial Hospital Wellness Center.”

Taylor has worked to overcome a spinal cord injury.

Taylor said she wasn’t expecting to get the kind of services she needed that close to town, but soon found they had what she needed.

Taylor said she has an incomplete spinal cord injury, which was from a fall that occurred in June of this year that resulted in her breaking her neck. Now, she does not have complete function of her lower and upper limbs.

Taylor said she was skeptical that OT was what she needed.

“But when I met Hayley Elmore, that all changed,” she said. “Not only does she have the credentials, she shows such care, compassion and interest toward me and my specific needs. Hayley has been relentless on working with me on my fine motor skills, range of motion with my upper limbs, strength, etc. I was unable to dress myself, bathe myself, tie my shoes. My handwriting was illegible, among many other things. I am much better in doing all of those things.”

For the Macks, Paisleigh, 2, was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at 15 weeks gestational. She also had chylathorax at birth that caused more developmental delays.

Since participating in occupational therapy at Mizell, Paisleigh is now dressing herself with her mom’s clothes, and knows how to do it because of the extra assistance received locally.

“Hayley has spent so much time and effort to help Paisleigh be everything she can be,” Christina Mack said. “I feel that she wouldn’t be able to do half of what she can without her help.”

Having OT close to home has enabled the Macks to schedule appointment times between naps and feedings, which is important since Paisleigh still uses a feeding tube.

Elmore said Thursday that patients are beginning to utilize the OT available locally and that she is now working four days per week.