Editor’s Note: Natalie Barnhard from Buffalo, New York genuinely cares for people. As a physical therapy assistant and massage therapist, her mission in life was to try and relieve the pain and suffering of people with injuries and disabilities. As an active and independent young woman, Natalie never thought she’d need someone to help her. She never really understood the emotional problems that victims of tragic accidents or unexpected illnesses faced, until she experienced tragedy in her own life. Part 1 of a 5 part series.
Natalie Barnhard says, “I always wanted to help people. When I graduated from high school, I planned to go to physical therapy school.” After graduating from physical therapy school, Natalie decided to pursue massage therapy school.
Once she graduated from massage therapy school, she got a job working full time in an orthopedic center. As Natalie explains, “I also did massage at night. I really loved working with people and trying to help them heal.”
Soon she became a physical therapy assistant and became fascinated with how she could relieve people of their pain and put smiles on their faces. “I really loved helping people. We had people coming into the clinic with injuries and disabilities, and I watched them strengthen their muscles and gave them pain relief. Often at the clinic, we performed exercise and massage that helped people with migraines. They’d leave the clinic with no pain, and being a part of that was very rewarding for me.”
For 2 years, Natalie was living her dream. She had a boyfriend, a great future and there was the possibility of marriage. Every day she left the clinic with a smile on her face, knowing she could make people feel better. The last thing Natalie ever considered was that because of this real need to help other people that one day she would need help herself.
Although Natalie was very good at helping others and being a positive force in their lives, she never really understood what these people were experiencing on the emotional side of their injuries, until she underwent a tragic accident of her own.
Please click here to learn about her foundation and their upcoming event, Natalie’s Walk, which will take place on September 8, 2012. This event supports those who have suffered a spinal cord injury.
Next: Natalie Barnhard’s Tragic Accident In The Gym
About the Author: For the last 12 years, John E. Phillips of Vestavia, Alabama, has been a professional blogger for major companies, corporations and tourism associations throughout the nation. During his 24 years as Outdoor Editor for “The Birmingham Post-Herald” newspaper, he published more than 7,000 newspaper columns and sold more than 100,000 of his photos to newspapers, magazines and internet sites. He also hosted a radio show that was syndicated at 27 radio stations; created, wrote and sold a syndicated newspaper column that ran in 38 newspapers for more than a decade; and wrote and sold more than 30 books. Learn more at http://www.nighthawkpublications.com