Max Denning

Thanks to the generosity of strangers, two-year-old Augustus Macy has his very own hot tub.

While he may seem quite young for such a gift, the hot tub functions as a therapy pool as well as a playground.

Born with a birth defect known as spina bifida, Augustus doesn’t have the use of his legs. He had five surgeries before he was 10 months old. Prior to this summer, Augustus was going to Baker Valley Physical Therapy once a week to do exercises in a warm therapy pool.

Augustus’ therapists recommended he use the warm therapy pool several times a week for short periods of time. That, coupled with the fact that he was quickly using up the alloted yearly amount of physical therapy sessions covered by his insurance, led his mother, Karla Macy, to search for another option.

“We were looking for something that we could have at home that would work for him,” Karla said.

At the beginning of May, Karla began writing letters about her son and his need for warm water therapy to stores that sold hot tubs in Boise, Idaho, and one in La Grande — Claudson’s Sew and Soak.

Greg and Sandi Gross, owners of Claudson’s Sew and Soak, received the letter and were immediately impacted by it.

“As soon as I got the letter, I showed it to Greg, and he said ‘Let’s do this,’” Sandi said.

“I just read the letter and it just touched me,” Greg said.

See complete story in Monday's Observer