Honored Graduating Student: Amy Hayward (ExSc)
Amy Hayward (‘22) sits patiently with one of her patients, a man from Yemen. Injured and unable to speak much English, he struggles to even dress himself. Despite everything, Hayward does not give up on him; she works with him daily to help heal his rotator cuff. Weeks of physical therapy finally reward her and her patient—when he graduates from the PT clinic's program, the man can use his shoulder, dress himself, and take care of all his basic needs. It’s moments like these that make Hayward realize how much she loves working in physical therapy.
Hayward’s interest in physical therapy began with her passion for exercise. She has loved running throughout her high school and college career; however, this interest also means frequent injuries—resulting in reoccurring visits to the physical therapy clinic. These visits with her clinicians sparked a fascination with exercise science, and Hayward knew she wanted to do what her doctors did: help patients overcome their body’s limitations. After finishing BYU’s exercise science program, she plans on attending the physical therapy program at the University of Utah in June.
As a Washington native, Hayward has worked most in Washington-based clinics. At one clinic, Amy had one of her most meaningful experiences: helping a young mom overcome a torn ACL. “Being a mom is very hard on crutches,” Hayward recognizes. Every day she worked with the patient until she could walk without support. When the mom could finally stand and walk on her own, the physical therapy office exploded with celebration.
Hayward wants to use her gifts to bless her husband and future family. She met her husband when she was 11; after growing up together, serving missions, writing emails to one another, and eventually falling in love, they decided to get married. Ever since then, Hayward has loved living life with her childhood best friend.
While learning how to serve her community and family, Hayward has also gained greater insight into the Divine. Learning about each part of the body helps her appreciate all of God’s unique systems and how they can work together in perfect order. “I love learning and studying about our Heavenly Parent’s prime creations,” she says.
The body is a miracle, but Hayward also acknowledges that it can easily break. She's found this to be especially true as she’s worked at one Utah-based office called Now I Can Foundation, where she practices intensive physical therapy with children. There she helps kids overcome neuromuscular deficiencies and other disabilities.
Helping others heal through her own learning has not only changed others’ lives—it has altered her own. She has gained confidence while working for Now I Can Foundation and other clinics; she will never forget how her love for God, science, and her community has built a true foundation that has shaped her future.