History of Healing Waters Foundation
Healing Waters began as a concept in 2003 due to having a patient, Dr. Alan Follender, who needed water therapy. Money was donated by Nancy Follender to honor her husband when he died in December 2004.
Dr. Follender was a brilliant physician who was a neurologist as well as head of the Scott and White Hospital in Texas. Unfortunately, Dr. Follender had an accident that left him with a traumatic brain injury. Having been a neurologist, he understood his own diagnosis.
I met Nancy and Alan when they came here after a year of recuperation. I was a physical therapist at the hospital. My specialty was neurological rehabilitation. I had always used water to facilitate patients’ movement if they had brain injuries or other disabling diseases such as Guillain Barre Syndrome, stroke, polio to name a few. But in Estes Park in 2001 there were no warm water pools. The few pools that were available were cold water and that would never due for someone with a neurological insult as the temperature would cause the patient to go into increased tone of extreme flexion or extension.
Longmont United Hospital had an outpatient warm water pool. Since Dr. and Mrs. Follender lived in Longmont, the hospital allowed me to come to the pool and work with Alan in the water. He did so well with the water allowing him to gain movements he could not achieve on land.
Then I received a brochure on an aquatic program in Salt Lake City with a HydroWorx pool. I took the course and knew I needed to get Alan into that kind of pool. Nancy and I took Dr. Follender out to Utah for ten days. When he returned he was able to walk almost 200 ft which he had not been able to do previously. We had to get him into that kind of a pool on a regular basis and that is how Healing Waters came into existence.
Unfortunately Dr. Follender died before he could enjoy the benefits of a HydroWorx pool here in Colorado. But many other people have benefitted from Nancy and Alan’s gift: people with spinal cord injury, arthritis, surgical wounds or with weight loss needs.
Lots of work followed with the donation of money from Nancy; work such as finding a suitable location, drawing up Articles of Incorporation and ByLaws, setting up a 501 (c)3, establishing a Board of Directors, purchasing a HydroWorx 500 pool with a treadmill in it, learning how to solicit donations for more money so that a building could be provided.
It involved a lot of hard work, many hours and many wonderful people who gave their time and effort to make Healing Waters a reality.
Larry and Cherie Pettyjohn need special recognition for their support, time and use of their land.
Healing Waters first opened for clients September 3, 2008. Through the dedication, donations and hard work of many volunteers over the years, the pool has prospered. by Annie Slack