Priya Sadrozinski was a participant at
Abilities United for 20 years and shared her
love of life with everyone.

Priya Sadrozinski provides an inspirational reminder of the indelible human spirit, and the boundless, unconditional love of a father for his daughter.

Priya was an Abilities United participant for twenty years. She had septo-optic dysplasia, a rare condition that resulted in a myriad of medical issues and disabilities that included developmental delay, epilepsy, visual problems, and other issues. However, despite the frequent surgeries, seizures, and hospitalizations, Priya rarely complained and was an inspiration and joy to her family and friends.

Priya started coming to physical rehabilitation at Abilities United Aquatic Services, located in the Betty Wright Swim Center, when she was just three years old. She would continue to come to the pool for the next twenty years. The pool was a great place for Priya to not only develop physical skills, but also to meet other people and socialize. “Priya was very outgoing,” says her father, Hartmut. “She made many friends at the pool; it was just ideal for her.”

Priya was able to read and write at roughly a third-grade level, but she greatly enjoyed creating rhymes. “It takes time to make a rhyme” was one of some 1,200 rhymes that she wrote and transcribed onto a long scroll. Shortly before she died, some of her favorite rhymes were published in two books: Priya Said See Ya, accompanied by her own drawings, and Priya’s Animal ABC Rhymes, illustrated rhymes about animals from A to Z.  Both books are being sold as fundraisers for Abilities United.

In recent years she also participated in the Adult Day Activities at Abilities United. “Priya was always talking about all her friends from Abilities United, both the participants and the staff,” says Hartmut. “The staff is extremely dedicated to the care and progress of the participants. It’s really very special.”

As part of the Abilities United Community Connections, Priya and other participants did volunteer work at local organizations, including maintenance at Mitchell Park and preparing food or flowers for those in a retirement home. “Getting out into the community was so important for Priya. Being out in the community benefits the participants tremendously, and also makes the community aware of those with disabilities.“

The Abilities United community was devastated to get the news in 2011 that Priya had died at age 24. “She was always very happy here,” says Hartmut, who brushes away a tear as he talks about the daughter that was so special to him. “When she died we asked our friends to contribute to the Abilities United Priya Memorial Fund that we created for her, specifically to benefit the wonderful staff of the Adult Day Activities program. Abilities United is a very special place.”

Priya is deeply missed, and Abilities United is proud to have had the privilege of working with such a wonderful young lady.  

Based on an interview with Hartmut Sadrozinski in 2012. Written by Bob Thomas. Edited by Hartmut Sadrozinski and Wendy Kuehnl.