Medically fragile patients get night out at the skating rink - Albuquerque Journal

Medically fragile patients get night out at the skating rink

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Fred Peralta pushes his stepdaughter, Mattea Woodard, 12, around the rink at Thrive Skilled Pediatric Care’s Halloween party. The event was held at Skate-O-Mania Monday evening. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Little scarecrows, minions and Stormtroopers filled a neon-drenched skating rink for an evening of fun.

Thrive Skilled Pediatric Care hosted a Halloween event at Skate-O-Mania Monday allowing patients, family and staff to gather for the first time in years.

The group had been unable to participate in large gatherings due to COVID-19 precautions.

“It’s amazing that the community can come together and get to enjoy things with people that are unlike themselves, it makes them more comfortable to be themselves,” Rachel Walker, an applied behavior analysis therapist, said as her excited patients rolled away.

Skate-O-Mania owner Courtney Ballew donated the facility for the event. Dozens of families and several staff members and nurses participated. Many dressed up and enjoyed the rink and complimentary snacks.

Thrive SPC is a local nursing agency that provides home care for more than 90 medically fragile patients.

“COVID hit us straight out of the gates and we weren’t able to organize right away, so this has been kind of our first opportunity to host a big event for our patients, families and staff,” Thrive SPC’s Location Director Michelle German said. “I’m so excited because these are amazing people, amazing families and I have the best staff … it feels good to celebrate them finally.”

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