Samuel would sit behind the viewing glass of the pool area with his mother and watch his older sister take swim lessons. He was 3 years old and left physically challenged by a stroke that he had suffered while still in his mother’s womb. The entire right side of his body lacked the normal motor skills needed to perform activities the same way other little boys his age could.
As he watched his sister swim, you could see the curiosity on Samuel’s face. He wanted to be in the water but something was holding him back. His mother shared with a Y swim instructor that Samuel was very scared of the water because of a near-drowning incident in a bath tub when he was younger.
Eventually, Samuel was coerced out of the viewing area and onto the pool deck and then finally into his first swim lesson. Nothing could stop this determined little boy after he got back in the water for that first time.
Samuel now attends a 30 minute swim lesson everyday. He splashes and plays, laughs and challenges himself to overcome his disability. The YMCA pool and swim instructors have completely transformed this little boy’s life. He is simply a result of the Y’s mission: his mind is stronger because of his newfound confidence, his body is stronger due to the therapeutic water exercises and his spirit glows through his constant smile.
There is no doubt that Samuel has achieved great things, but more importantly, he feels exactly what a little boy his age should feel like in the water, HAPPY.
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