PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — There was some four-legged holiday cheer on Wednesday at MossRehab as part of the annual Adopt-a-Patient program.
Being sick or hospitalized during the holidays can be difficult, so for nine years now, employees at Einstein have provided the gift of warmth and this year the delivery team had a new edition – Pender, the adorable and beloved facility dog.
Eleven-hundred patients will be getting a stuffed dog that looks like Pender and a cozy blanket, sharing the gift of warmth during the holiday.
“We get tears, we get some laughter,” said Eileen Hartranft of Einstein.
Hartranft says hundreds of Einstein employees, friends and family donate and raise money for the annual Adopt-a-Patient program which provides the blankets.
“Health care workers at Moss and Einstein understand what it’s like to be away from home during the holidays, so it’s just one that we really try to do to just make it feel more like home,” she said.
So far, almost $14,000 has been raised, mainly from $10 donations to make sure all patients get a holiday gift.
The delivery from Pender made the gift even more special for 20-year-old Kevin Dixon, who’s rehabbing from a gunshot wound to the head.
“I think it’s really fun, it’s great,” he said.
Liz Decina, a brain injury therapist, says Pender also gets patients motivated as they tend to be more active and work harder when he’s around.
“Pender gives us the ability to reach patients who would not otherwise be able to be reached,” said Decina.
The Adopt-a-Patient blankets and stuffed dogs are being delivered across the Einstein Network to those who are hospitalized and also to outpatients as well.