Ligonier Therapeutic Center
Using Horses To Heal
by Catherine Markosky, Mason's mom and the Founder of STAT, Inc.
Our special son Mason was born 14 weeks premature, which resulted in traumatic brain injury. The damage done to his airway to keep him alive was so severe that he cannot speak and is dependent on a tracheostomy tube to breath and a gastrostomy tube for nourishment.
In 2011, Mason was diagnosed with an extremely rare condition called Costello Syndrome.
Mason is the most unique kid you’ll ever meet, even with his enormous challenges he is always happy, very caring of others, and… he lives to ride horses. In fact, Mason has been participating in a unique physical therapy treatment called Hippotherapy since he was 3 years old. At age 3, when most kids are running around, Mason couldn’t even sit up. But after only 12 weeks of Hippotherapy, Mason was able to sit independently! It was a MIRACLE!
After months of receiving treatment in this unique therapy that uses a horse to, in Mason's case, teach him to walk independently... he gained enough strength and balance to finally walk! (In 2001 when we brought him home from Pittsburgh’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit on full life support, we were told he would not live to age 2 and that he would never breathe on his own …let alone walk!). He is a walking miracle and Hippotherapy was the one treatment that worked!
In 2012, we moved from New York to Ligonier, to be close to Pittsburgh Children's Hospital. We discovered that the horseback riding therapy that he was participating in weekly was not available to him. And the one location that was nearby put him on a wait list for 3 years. So... my family decided ...to build a center for our entire community - for the disabled and the able-bodied - a place to heal - a place to come together and to bear witness to miracles.
When you are having a tough day, we want you to come to the Ligonier Therapeutic Center at 24 Stom Road. It will change your day - it may just change your life!
Kaleb is non-verbal, but with a dedicated therapy team, we discovered he knew his numbers, despite what the school testing reported...
At 9 years old, he was non-verbal. Doctors told his parents that he would never speak. Read his mother's testimonial about Johnny's first spoken words!
our story - MASON MARKOSKY
Mike & Cat Markosky
Mason presented with the 2016-2017 Stanley Cup
at Penguins Foundation