It had been more than 30 years since lupus began eating away at Deborah Filian's body. It stood in the way of every step she took, forcing her to stay in bed for long periods of time. But a saline warm-water pool has changed her life, she said.
Almost a year ago, she started by walking back and forth one day, then lifting her arms above her head another day, reaching for her back another day.
And one by one, Filian got rid of her walker then her cane. Now her doctors are reducing her medication.
"I have changed so much because of this pool," she said.
Shannon Ross offers the aquatic classes Tuesdays through Saturdays at the Magnolia Physical Therapy & Aquatic Rehab Center in Huntington Beach.
Filian, who was one of the first students, has shown remarkable results, Ross said. Filian never thought she would be able to do things like run in place or climb stairs again, she said, but now she does.