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Davis Journal

Therapy pool provides healing and friendship

Sep 01, 2022 01:58PM ● By Becky Ginos

BOUNTIFUL—The Bountiful Wellness therapy pool has done more than help people heal – it’s given them a sense of belonging. That’s all coming to an end on Sept. 1 when the space will be converted into a cancer clinic. Those who are using the pool don’t know where they’ll go when it’s gone.

The pool is kept at 92 degrees, said Della Mae Keil, a veteran who uses the pool for therapy and teaches classes there. “The warm water helps. I spent 22 years in the Navy Reserve and went to Desert Storm. Now I should be on 24/7 oxygen. In the water I don’t need oxygen. I alone with dozens of others don’t know what to do. We need warm water to exercise.”

Keil said they’ve tried to find another therapy pool but haven’t been successful. “They’re all too cold.”

Myrna Johnson comes from Rose Park to use the pool. “I have a pool right next to me but it’s too cold. I’ve been coming for 20 years, it’s the best thing I can do for my back.”

“The warmer temperature is vital to healing muscles as opposed to a regular pool,” said Colleen Jones. “It’s not only physical but mental. I don’t feel safe anywhere else.”

The Boyer Company manages the building at 520 Medical Drive but the owner is out of Nashville, said Ron Craven who handles leasing. “Lakeview Hospital used the pool for therapy. After multiple years they chose to close it down and the physical therapy business vacated the area.”

The pool and the physical therapy space became vacant and the owners tried to get a physical therapy group to go in and maintain it but no one wanted to, he said. “A doctor has leased it for a cancer treatment center. The pool will be filled in for medical space. If somebody is willing to pay market rent it's no surprise they’re going to do it.”

Dr. (Joshua) Oaks, who has an office in the building has been covering the cost to maintain the pool every month to allow his patients to use it, Craven said. “That was only on a short-term basis.” 

Craven said they’ve been searching for a  year to find someone to take over the pool. “It was not to be. In a perfect world it would be great to have pools in the community they can use. They need to reach out to the rec center and government entities to let them know how the community could benefit from pool time.”

Sept. 1 they’ll start construction, he said. “Some clients won’t benefit but others will. We’ll have a class A first-rate cancer center.”

Craven said he shares in the pool patrons’ disappointment. “My heart goes out to them. I take this in a personal way because I have an elderly mother who has benefited from it for many years.”

“I want you to know how much the Bountiful Wellness pool has meant to me,” said Dona Hill. “I think without it I would either be in a wheelchair or a casket. It’s saving my life and I like living. Not only does it provide physical therapy for me but since I became a widow it has also improved my mental and emotional health.”

Hill said she thinks the pool would also help the cancer patients. “Isn’t there some way that we could save the pool and help all of us? I’m praying that there is.” λ