Wednesday, April 16, 2014 - 12:05:04 PM

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Horse Therapy Provides Breakthrough for Greene Teen

(Source: Jason Weinstein)

By the time she was three months old, Elizabeth Roe suffered strokes that affected 99 percent of her brain.

"They still sent her home to die. They said, 'we're going to train you to do infant CPR, we're going to teach you how to medicate her and how to feed her. But we're going to send you home with hospice," said Karen Roe of Greene, Elizabeth's mother.

While Elizabeth survived, her family received a grim diagnosis.

"They said she would never walk, she would never talk, she would never sit up, she would never do anything," said Karen Roe.

But Elizabeth has spent her live overcoming the odds. She has undergone a number of kinds of therapies but none have had the affect of horse therapy, also known as hippotherapy, which she began a year-and-a-half ago.

"This is 100 percent successful in her person, in her mobility," said Karen Roe.

"Elizabeth when she first started would not touch the horse. She didn't like the feeling of the horse's hair and the reins. Now Elizabeth will pet the horse," said Marissa Piccirilli, Executive Director of Verde View Equestrian Center.

Another milestone for Elizabeth came last Summer.

"Sixteen years old, she's never said, 'mom". Her 9-year-old sister worked with her all summer and taught her to say, 'mom,'" said Karen Roe.

"She knows how to say 'da-da'. So we taught her step-by-step," said Paige Roe, Elizabeth's sister.
What were some of those steps?

"Like, 'mmm-ahh-mmm,'" said Paige Roe.

But it's the progress made while on the horse that can be most impressive.

"Approximately a month ago Elizabeth actually fed the horse which before she wouldn't even give him a treat," said Karen Roe.

"It's pretty incredible when that happens. Some of our volunteers have cried," said Piccirilli.

"I've never put limits on her. I've never said, 'Oh, wow, she's doing this now, I don't think she can do anymore. I've always believed Elizabeth can do anything she wants to," said Karen Roe.

****In Colesville, Jason Weinstein, FOX 40 HD News****

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