Hope and Healing: One Woman’s Story

Hope and Healing: One Woman’s Story

Active. Dedicated. Ambitious. Engaged. Successful… All fitting words to describe Barb’s professional career, home life and church ministry. For over 40 years, Barb enjoyed balancing a challenging corporate sales schedule together with fulfilling family time and volunteer work. Ultimately, the stress from her work demands and environmental exposure to chemicals throughout her career took its toll on her health and she was hospitalized multiple times for congestive heart failure, ovarian cancer and uterine cancer.

Even after retiring in 2008, Barb continued to stay active in her church and with her grandchildren, volunteering to help with numerous events and activities. All that changed on Christmas Eve of 2018 when Barb suffered a stroke. Unfortunately, Barb mistook the symptoms of her stroke for chemical toxicity as she had been varnishing furniture and thought she had simply inhaled too many fumes. After nearly a week, a friend came to visit and after talking with Barb, immediately recognized her symptoms as that of a stroke and immediately took her to the hospital.

While at the hospital, she learned about the benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for stroke survivors. Her doctor informed her that because HBOT was not an insurance reimbursable condition for the treatment of stroke, she should contact Sara’s Garden. Friends and neighbors agreed that Barb should try HBOT as they had heard and seen great things from the treatments in their own lives. It was from her hospital bed, that Barb first reached out to Sara’s Garden for help.

Following her stroke, Barb could not speak in good, clear sentences. Her thought patterns were erratic and her sequencing was extremely jumbled. She was told that she didn’t make a whole lot of sense when speaking to others. Additionally, she was very tired, lacked ambition and could hardly use the right side of her body or turn over in bed. She was dizzy and unbalanced and had to use a walker at all times to get around. She could not text on her phone, type on a computer or open jars or packaging of any kind. For a woman who had been successful and independent her entire life, it was extremely frustrating for Barb to be so limited in just about everything she tried to do.

It was not long after starting HBOT treatments that Barb started noticing benefits… not huge leaps, but slow and gradual improvements in her speech, memory, cognitive thinking and overall mental capacity. Her attention span increased and her vision improved. Barb’s thought processing became clearer as did her ability to reason and make sense. The fears that had been experiencing left her and she regained her confidence to tackle jobs and tasks around the house. While she still had some difficulties with her mobility, she became much more stable on her feet.

Her friends and family were thrilled to see Barb asking like her old self again. Her favorite comment that she received from a friend was when they said, “I think you are smarter now than before you went to Sara’s Garden.” Barb is now back at church regularly and even did all the craft teaching for their Vacation Bible School. Her family is happy that she is active again and back to doing more around the house. She is able to do laundry, yard work and shopping. Cooking can still be challenging at times but compared to before it has greatly improved. Most importantly, Barb is once again able to babysit her granddaughters and meet all of their needs. According to Barb, her life has done a complete turnaround over the past six months.

Barb can not say enough about her time at Sara’s Garden and the benefits she received from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. She laughs that she may sound like a broken record to her friends because she talks about HBOT everywhere she goes and with everyone she meets. HBOT has given her a new lease on life as she is once again able to reason and physically able do virtually everything she could do before her stroke.

According to Barb, “It is because of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy that I am where I am today. The love of God and people shines in the face of every caregiver, teacher and administrator at Sara’s Garden. Just being in the presence of the staff is uplifting and beneficial. I have observed more positive and encouraging behaviors toward children and people of needs at Sara’s Garden than any place else on earth! It truly is a labor of love from God!”

No matter what you’ve been told, there is hope… for this and many other conditions. HBOT is treatment without drugs… without surgery… without pain.

NHA to Open New Toledo Campus

NHA to Open New Toledo Campus

Sara’s Garden is pleased to announce that it will be expanding its special needs educational and intervention services to the Greater Toledo Area with the opening of its second regional special needs school—New Horizons Academy—Springfield. Just like its Wauseon campus, the Springfield campus is dedicated to providing the highest quality of educational programming available and to empowering children with disabilities to recognize and optimize their full potential.

New Horizons Academy is a chartered, nonpublic school, serving preschool children through young adults (up to age 21)—transitioning from school to the work environment. New Horizons Academy began in 2012 with two students and has grown in just seven years to 100. Superintendent Gene Rupp explains the key to the school’s success, “Our special needs students are children first with all of the needs, desires, and feelings of children without disabilities. They are more like other children than different. Their disabilities are inconveniences that keep them from enjoying full lives, and therefore must be overcome or compensated for so that the children can grow and move out into the world. At New Horizons Academy, kids come first. We exist for our students; our students do not exist for the school. Students don’t have to fit into the classes; the class and program are made to meet the individual student’s needs.”

New Horizons Academy’s Wauseon campus serves special needs students from nine different Northwest Ohio counties and 22 school districts; and now, New Horizons Academy is ready to expand its services into the Greater Toledo Area by offering special education, intervention, and therapy services at its new location, 6201 Trust Drive in Holland.

Its Springfield campus will open its doors to students on Monday, September 9. A community-wide Open House will also be held on September 9 from 6-8:00 p.m.

New Horizons Academy is an applied behavioral analysis (ABA) school, which has created a unique, accepting and loving environment for all of its students and staff. Sara’s Garden wants to share this caring, compassionate, educational environment with a whole new batch of students. Unlike traditional classrooms, New Horizons Academy has an incredibly low staff to student ratio of 1 to 2 with all of our students on individual education plans (IEP’s). Personalized teaching and instruction are the keys to reaching many of our special needs students. Their classrooms are small. Their teachers know and care about them, and they don’t get lost in the rush. Our students are what matters!

“A young child with special needs in a regular classroom often finds himself as the only ‘problem’ in the class, always needing extra help and always being the different one,” explained principal Marty Friess. “At New Horizons Academy, this child has classmates, who do some things better than he does and classmates who do some things not as well. The child is not different or special; he is just one of the kids—free to develop an ‘I CAN’ attitude. This is what New Horizons Academy is all about. If this is what you and your special needs child is looking for, then look no farther. Please come visit and tour New Horizons Academy.”

Initially in Springfield, our primary focus will be on early intervention, preschool to second grade, middle school to high school students focusing on the importance of life and work skills, and 18-21 year old young adults transitioning from school to work with a heavy emphasis on vocational training and goals.

As a chartered, nonpublic school, New Horizons Academy accepts the Autism and Jon Peterson Special Needs Scholarships as payment in full from the Ohio Department of Education and also contracts with local school districts to serve their more severely affected autistic students. New Horizons Academy provides educational, aide, intervention, and therapy services as a part of its tuition and educational program.

For more information about New Horizons Academy or its Springfield Campus, please call or email the Springfield Director Tara Dumas at 419-335-7272 or tarad@sarasgarden.org or to set up a tour or to get information about enrolling your child in New Horizons Academy, please call or email Admissions Director Ronda Rupp at 419-335-7272 or email at rondar@sarasgarden.org.

Thank You!

Sara’s Garden is SO blessed by the caring Northwest Ohio organizations and businesses share with our special needs kids and their families! A big thank you to the St. Caspar’s Knights of Columbus, the Ohio Elks and the Toledo—Sylvania Elks Lodge #53, the Delta Eagles Auxiliary, and the Wauseon Walmart for all you do for Sara’s Garden and New Horizons Academy!

These gifts, donations, and grants will help us to make our indoor playground a reality and help to fund our Before & After School Program. Sara’s Garden and New Horizons Academy relies so much on the generosity and caring of Northwest Ohio groups and organizations. Please take a moment during your busy day to thank St. Caspar’s Knights of Columbus, the Ohio Elks and the Toledo—Sylvania Elks Lodge #53, the Delta Eagles Auxiliary, and the Wauseon Walmart for all you do for Sara’s Garden and New Horizons Academy!

You’re Invited to NHA’s Open Houses

You’re Invited to NHA’s Open Houses

Welcome Back to School with NHA Open Houses in Wauseon & Springfield!

New Horizons Academy (NHA) is so excited to welcome back its students, teachers, and staff to its Wauseon Campus at Sara’s Garden on August 14. NHA is so pleased to also announce the opening of its Springfield Campus, 6201 Trust Dr. in Holland on September 9. To mark the back to school season and to celebrate our regional special needs campuses, New Horizons Academy will be hosting its:

  • August 13: Annual Open House at 220 Lawrence Ave. in Wauseon from 6:00-8:00 p.m.
  • September 9: Inaugural Open House at 6201 Trust Dr. in Holland from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

To make the Open Houses a little less overwhelming for our special needs students, the Open Houses will have staggered start times with the preschoolers and elementary school-aged students, families, and friends coming from 6:00-6:45 p.m. and the middle school through our School to Work Transitional Classes (up to age 21) coming from 7:00-7:45 p.m. Friends, family, and the public are ALL INVITED to the NHA Wauseon Campus Open House on August 13 and the NHA Springfield Campus Open House on September 9.

Both NHA campuses will also be hosting Educators Open Houses and Tours on:

  • September 19: Educators Open House at 220 Lawrence Ave. in Wauseon from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
  • September 26: Educators Open House at 6201 Trust Dr. in Holland from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

“Please join us in kicking off a GREAT YEAR at NHA in Wauseon and Springfield,” invited NHA Superintendent Gene Rupp. “We are looking forward to an exciting year and hope that you will join us on August 13 and/or September 9 and become a part of the excitement and growth that is New Horizons Academy!”

For more information on NHA or any of its Open Houses, please call the school office at 419-335-7272 or email katieh@sarasgarden.org