Lucas Petzold

Clinical picture: spastic tetraparesis pronounced on the left, hypotonia of the torso, neuropsychological developmental deficiencies

Lucas‘ father, Jens Hildebrand, writes:

Dear staff and supporters of dolphin aid e.V.!

It’s been a bit more than a year since my family and our son Lucas Petzold from Zwickau/Sachsen have been able to take part in dolphin assisted therapy in Key Largo/Florida, which meant a lot to us. We have invested a lot of work and effort to raise the necessary money ourselves in order to pay for this kind of therapy, which unfortunately is strongly disputed in our country. But we made it, thanks to our campaign “dolphin assisted therapy for Lucas”. Companies, schools, hospitals and many, many individuals helped us with this. Unfortunately, I have to confess that I myself haven’t been convinced by the achievements of the therapy described by you. Today, I am very happy that I was very, very wrong about that.

In February 2001, Lucas fell out of his bed that unfortunately, so that he was in a coma for half a year. As a result of the severe traumatic brain injury he sustained, his left side is paralysed and he suffers from spastic seizures. Even during dolphin therapy, our little darling has made incredible progress. For the first time after his accident, he used his left leg again to playfully ward off Spunky, one of the dolphins we got to like a lot. Amazing! I haven’t seen Lucas laugh so often and intensely since his accident like during his two-week dolphin assisted therapy in Florida. Today, half a year later, I’m happy to let you know that Lucas has re-learned how to walk, his spastic seizures have become less, that several medicine has been reduced immensely and that, in general, according to his therapists, he has made great progress during the last months and that he tries to repeat many words after hearing them. Those achievements are incredible. And all of this is “only” due to a therapy form I tried to doubt in the beginning!

Why am I writing all of this? You, dear dolphin aid staff, have showed me the possibility of dolphin assisted therapy in the first place. You gave me and my family the courage and energy to go through with the donation campaign for Lucas.

You provided us with the needed information and advice. You explained the organisation, like flight, accommodation and how to enrol for therapy, and you were by our side in Key Largo when we felt lost or worried. Without you, dear staff, all these achievements our son made wouldn’t be possible today! For this, I, and especially Lucas, would like to thank you with all our hearts. A special thanks goes to Mrs. Kuhnert who has founded the organisation and keeps the parents up-to-date regarding the work. We would like to thank Mrs. Oßenschmidt for taking over all of the organisation – from registration to booking – and we would like to thank the other volunteers of dolphin aid e.V. for supporting the successful dolphin assisted therapy, if mainly silently in the background. To all of you, I wish you energy and commitment, so you can help many other parents and their children, just like you have helped Lucas and us.

Yours sincerely

Jens Hildebrand – father of Lucas Petzold from Zwickau

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