God's Pit Crew Builds Therapeutic Playground for Child

Franklin County,VA-- God's Pit Crew is known for helping people recover from natural disasters, but their most recent project has nothing to do with that.

It's called "Butterfly Kisses for Ava," where they built a playground for a 6-year-old girl in Franklin County with a rare disease. This project has been two years in the making and it was completed this week.

Ava's nurse contacted God's Pit Crew in 2011, asking for a special needs playground. Now, physical therapy is a lot more fun.

With each step and each pull, six-year-old Ava Setliff is trying to overcome some of the setbacks of her very rare disease.

She was diagnosed with Pfeiffer Syndrome, a facial disorder that affects only one in 100,000 births.

"She has to go to school with a nurse," said Brandi Setcliff, Ava's mother. "She walks with a walker, cannot walk independently at this time, but we're hoping work toward that as our main goal, which is why our playground is going to help her physically endurance and her muscle strength as well."

In 2011, God's Pit Crew got a request to help build this playground.

"We get so many requests, we can't meet them all so it kind of got pushed back, like many of them do unfortunately," said Randy Johnson, Founder of God's Pit Crew. "Our staff and our people kept bringing this one back the table over and over again."

So three months ago, God's Pit Crew took on the task. They coordinated with Ava's physical therapist to make sure the playground would meet her specific needs.

"Instead of just your regular swings we ordered to ADA swings that our special, almost like seats with straps in them, so she can be strapped into the swing," Johnson said.

Now, Ava can feel more like a kid, and playtime can truly be a fun experience, as it should be.

"She's had 18 surgeries to date and we expect to have many more, to it's definitely worth it to her to have a little happiness," Setliff said.