Nate Smit – 16 year old volunteer at High Quality Home Therapy

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Nate Smit – 16 year old volunteer at High Quality Home Therapy

February 5th, 2020

I am Nate Smit and I’m 16 years old and I volunteer at High Quality Home Therapy. I met Caryn (the owner) when I was eight years old through a clinical trial with pediatric patients like me with cerebral palsy. When the trial was over I did not see Caryn for another eight years until my mom saw her at Home Goods. Caryn had told my mom about her new company, High Quality Home Therapy. My mom started receiving services at HQHT at first. Then, I started coming in to get physical therapy. PT has helped me improve my walking. After coming to HQHT for almost a year, I decided I could give back so I became a volunteer after school. Volunteering has given me an inside look on how a therapy office functions. I have seen how occupational therapy sessions work, how other physical therapists work with their patients and much more.  

Ever since I could remember, I have worked with a physical therapist. Since I have cerebral palsy, I have a slight limp because of a gait issue. Also, my foot is very rigid so when I walk the side of  my foot hits the floor instead of the bottom of my foot. This has made walking long distances and keeping up with others a little difficult. Physical therapy has helped me be able to keep up with my peers and walk distances with them. I have had two surgeries to correct how I walk. One of them was a tendon transfer, in which the doctors took one of the tendons on the right side of my foot and transferred it to the left side of my foot. The second surgery that I’ve had, which was pretty recent, was called a calcaneus ostamonaty. This was where the doctors would move the calcaneus bone in my foot, which is the ankle bone, and shift the bone so that my foot has a better alignment. After both surgeries, physical therapists have helped me get me back to where I needed to be. 

When I was younger, I also had some occupational therapy. In kindergarten, my handwriting wasn’t very good. I met with an occupational therapist which improved my handwriting drastically. When I got a little bit older and started using a computer, it was difficult for me to use the keyboard. I worked with an occupational therapist to help me improve my typing skills.  

I also had trouble projecting my voice so I started working with a speech therapist about 3 years ago. When working with the speech therapist, they taught me breathing exercises to make my voice louder and have the ability to project my voice when talking to someone. This has helped me have clear conversations with the people that I talk with.  

After working with all different types of therapists I am glad to be able to help other therapists provide the same services I have received to others. HQHT is such an amazing environment to get what you need. The therapists here definitely are so driven to see their patients succeed in what they are struggling with.