Therapy through the pumpkin patch

Thursday, October 9th 2008, 5:37 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

NEWCASTLE, Okla. -- Patients from the Children's Center in Bethany went on a fall field trip to show them life outside hospital walls.

They visited the pumpkin patch and corn maze at the T.G. Farms in Newcastle, and they took home more than a pumpkin.

"They will be able to exercise some new motor movements, some new life skills that they may not be able to learn in the hospital itself," said Scott Coppenbarger, who works at the Children's Center.

The visit was part of the center's recreational therapy program.

"Recreational therapy is where you use a patient's leisure interest and hobbies, things they enjoy, and you use them to benefit them in any way possible," recreational therapist Tami Crawford said.

Some of these children are recovering from traumatic brain injuries and must re-train their senses. The animals and pumpkins allow them to touch, hear, see and smell life in a whole new way. Besides learning, the kids had plenty of fun.

"They're a kid first and then they have a medical disability second," T.G. Farm's owner Todd Griffith said.

Griffith enjoys seeing the patient's smiles, that's why he's giving back to the children that give him the most joy.

"Proceeds of today's sales will go to the Children's Center," Coppenbarger said.

The money will ensure more patients will have the opportunity to enjoy this one-of-a kind learning experience.