“Ride your own horse.”

Dr. Paula Petry’s journey of self-discovery, healing and personal empowerment began with the birth of her daughter, Alexandra, who was born with Spina Bifida. Complicating things, the birth and earliest care took place in a foreign country, where in 1984, the lack of adequate healthcare and skilled providers forced Paula to pave a new path not only her daughter but for many others. She became a strong advocate for children with disabilities, forming what is now one of the strongest parent advocacy organizations in the country. She brought that knowledge and her passion for family-centered care services to her faculty position at the University of Miami, School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics— for over a decade preparing pediatricians and other disciplines to work with children with special health care needs. 

Alexandra’s death at age twelve brought great loss, suffering, and new beginnings. On her journey to healing, Paula studied energy medicine, sound healing, and the expressive arts, which she now blends together in retreats, workshops, and individual shamanic healing sessions. Her passion is to help women awaken to their inner truth and power, a theme and focus of her book, A Mother’s Courage to Awaken:  Hope and Inspiration From MyDaughter’s Journey in the Afterlife.  

Paula is the Wellness Director at the private elementary and middle school, Lightwork Education & Wellness Center. She resides in Cooperstown, New York where she is a co-owner of the Light of Heart Sanctuary.