There's no slowing down 7-year-old Samari Hood. Born with a severe form of cerebral palsy, his mother was told he'd never walk.
"He just needed the right people in his life and we found it," said his mother, Stephanie.
She found the right therapists and the right tools at Pediatrics Plus in Conway, the only private clinic in the state with the Lite Gait Treadmill. The device has Samari and other kids upright and walking.
Among them is 4-year-old Josie Rast, who was born with a rare genetic disorder.
"She's crawling a lot better," said her mom, Renee. "She's using her walker tremendously better."
Also using the Lite Gait Treadmill is 2-year-old Weston Newman, who for now scoots to get around.
"I know one day he's going to be able to do it on his own," said his mom, Randi. "It's just going to take him a little longer."
Until now, therapists had to use their hands to hold up kids while working with them.
"So on the treadmill, you have the support system holding them up, so you can spend your time facilitating the appropriate muscles," said Genie Hall, physical therapy team leader at Pediatrics Plus.
Even kids who can already walk independently benefit, making therapy less painful. The machine helps improve posture and balance and provides a cardio workout.
"It's important that we get the word out that it's here," said Pediatrics Plus owner Amy Denton. "There are so many kids who could take advantage of this machine and actually benefit from it."
For Samari, being able to face his peers at eye level has been life changing.
"He feels less isolated," his mom said. "He's part of the group and more confident about himself."
The Little Rock location of Pediatrics Plus is also getting a Lite Gait Treadmill. It's often free for these families. Insurance covers it as part of their physical therapy.