Orange County pediatric clinic officials hope to resume services after flooding damages facility

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After a broken water main caused catastrophic damage at a pediatric clinic in Lake Forest, officials at the facility have expressed determination to resume its services. (KABC)

After a broken water main caused catastrophic damage at a pediatric clinic in Lake Forest, officials at the facility have expressed determination to resume its services.

The aMAYZing Kids clinic was closed Monday after the water pipe burst inside the building, flooding it with several feet of water.

Co-founder and clinical director Stephanie Coe later wiped away tears as she walked through the facility, which was evacuated as it filled with water and parts of the roof began to fall.

"It was a river coming through the clinic, pulling all of our papers and toys, and everything that we built," Coe said.

Another aMAYZing Kids co-founder and clinical director, Michelle Dilts, said, "The ceiling tiles were shifting, the walls were trembling, and water was popping up underneath the carpeting in all different directions."

According to employees, the water was filling the structure so quickly that firefighters punched holes in the walls to provide drainage.

No one was injured in the incident.

Afterward, a disaster team began boxing up and salvaging items that were not destroyed by the flooding. The building was yellow-tagged and is likely to be red-tagged.

The nonprofit provides "physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy for the pediatric population of Orange County," according to its website.

Coe and Dilts said they were most concerned about the 600 children served by the facility each month.

"Daily, weekly, sometimes two to three times a week, these kids are going to have a complete disruption in their therapy services," Coe said.

An online fundraising page has been created to help aMAYZING Kids, which was founded in honor of 3-year-old Hailey Mayz Vassilaros, who died in 2009 due to health complications related to her stomach and esophagus.

"Frankly, we don't know what it will take," reads a statement on CrowdRise.com. "All we can tell you is that every dollar will go toward rebuilding the clinic and restoring Hailey's aMAYZing legacy."

As of Wednesday morning, more than $5,800 had been donated to the fundraiser.

"Hopefully people will be able to find a space that we can get these kids the treatment they need," Coe said. "I don't know where, I don't know when, but it will happen."
Related Topics:
newstherapychildrenOrange CountyLake Forest
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