Bryson’s and Odie’s Story

Dec 1, 2019 | News

As told by his mom Debbie

November 2017. That’s when we got the call. A beautiful little boy named Bryson was at Brenner’s Children’s Hospital being treated for dehydration, neglect, and scabies. He was about seven months old.

It was love at first sight for us.

We took Bryson home and soon noticed that his muscle tone was poor and that his physical features were different. A geneticist at Brenner’s referred us to Duke University where he was tested. They confirmed that Bryson has a rare disorder called FG Syndrome. Sadly, there is no cure.

What does this mean for Bryson?

Bryson has developmental delays in his ability to eat and is currently on a feeding tube. He is nonverbal, but we’re praying he will speak one day. FG Syndrome also comes with sensory seeking issues, behavioral issues, possible intellectual challenges, and autistic tendencies. Bryson has had early intervention with care and therapy.

We believe that everything is in God’s perfect timing.

With that being said, and after two years of fostering, his birth parents were selfless and signed over their rights, leading us to be able to adopt him on October 17, 2019. We are grateful and blessed to have him in our lives and will do everything to make him feel loved and cared for.

How did Bryson end up at Shining Hope Farms?

Bryson was seeing a physical therapist who had experience with the hippotherapy treatment strategy. She shared that she thought hippotherapy would benefit his confidence, strength, and sensory issues and mentioned Shining Hope Farms’ name. This led us to asking Bryson’s pediatrician for a referral and the rest is history.


What has been Bryson’s experience at Shining Hope Farms?

Bryson has been working with occupational therapist, Amber Costello, therapy pony Odie, and all the volunteers at Shining Hope Farms since September of 2019.

Bryson enjoys riding Odie during occupational therapy while he does different tasks and exercises. He laughs and it brings joy to my heart.❤

After riding Odie, Amber takes Bryson to the sensory room she created. Bryson was very apprehensive at first. However, each week he has become more sure of himself with the toys, the ball pit, his hair-combing tasks, and drinking from his cup.

We have seen a positive change in Bryson since starting with Odie and the hippotherapy treatment strategy. He has been calmer and his head banging is improving, in fact sometimes, he doesn’t bang his head at all. He is also starting to understand the concepts of toys and puzzles, and is becoming more aware of his environment.

Bryson’s progress has been a godsend. I feel all his therapies have had an impact but utilizing hippotherapy while riding Odie has definitely helped Bryson with his sensory and behavioral issues. I am so grateful this type of therapy was recommended to me.

Hope for the Future

Our hope for Bryson’s future is that he grows up to be self-sufficient, and do great things in our world. We are proud of him and we encourage him as he learns and grows. He is a joy and we love him! ❤

Would you consider giving $24 to feed Bryson’s horse Odie? $24 will feed Odie for an entire week! 

The goal for this #GivingTuesdayCLT is to feed all of the “Gentle Giants that Help Our Clients,” so that children like Bryson can continue receiving their amazing benefits (the majority, with no out of pocket costs to their family).

Click Here to Feed a Therapy Horse

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