Blaze and Haize: Girl finds passions to overcome struggles with childhood disability

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Haize Hinton of Soso, Mississippi, seemed like a healthy baby when she was born in September 2015. However, at two months, her parents noticed she was not using her right arm. A visit to the pediatrician sent Haize and her family to a neurologist in Jackson, Mississippi.

From there, the family traveled to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston, Texas, where they learned Haize had suffered from a massive stroke leaving two-thirds of her brain dead. As a result, doctors said it was likely she would never walk or talk.

Haize’s mother, Katie Hinton, began looking for ways to help her daughter. During the search, they found Brooke King, Leigh Ann Hunt, and Taneshia Quinn of Jeff Davis County Therapy. They were aiding in therapy to help people like Haize.

At eight months old, Haize began speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy to give her a chance at a semi-normal life.

With the help of a walker and therapy three times a week for three hours, Haize took her first steps by age two. 

Haize used a walker at an early age to help her walk. (Courtesy of Hinton Family)

During the last two years, Haize went to The Children’s Center for Communication and Development on the USM campus to continue her therapy. 

The Center provides the skills, resources and confidence children with disabilities need to face everyday life and helps them build a foundation for a brighter future. While she no longer goes to the Center, Haize continues to go to therapy.

“Even at such an early age, Haize had the drive to do better. She wanted to do things like everyone else,” Connie Parish, Haize’s grandmother, said.

Now six years old and ready to graduate from kindergarten, Haize continues to grow and become more independent each day. She remains limited in movement but continues to push through her limitations.

She has found a love for riding horses, especially Blaze, her grandfather’s horse, to the point people stop to watch as she runs through a barrel race pattern.

She doesn’t care about having the fastest time because all Haize wants is to have fun. However, speed has become her confidence booster when she is aboard Blaze pushing him to run faster. 

“Her confidence level is high when she rides. She just laughs. She wants Blaze to go faster, run more,” Katie Hinton said.

Haize has found her passion for horse riding with her horse, Blaze. (Courtesy of Hinton Family)

Haize pushes herself to show that she can do things like others her own age, even with a limitation. She discovered creative ways to achieve everyday tasks. 

She looked to others with a disability like hers to learn how others work around their restrictions.

“Once, when cleaning up, I tried to get Haize to let me close a zip-up bag because I did not think she could, but she proved me wrong by doing it herself, even if it took her a bit,” Scott Parish, Haize’s grandfather, said.

With continued therapy treatment and firm support, Haize continues to do everything she loves to do as a kid trying to enjoy her childhood.

“I love playing outside with my brothers, playing doctor and riding my horse Blaze,” Haize said.