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Muskegon woman visits Meijer Gardens for wheelchair practice

Mary Free Bed staff explored with her as part of her rehabilitation treatment.
Credit: Mary Free Bed
Pastucha explores the plants of Frederik Meijer Gardens with medical staff

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Earlier this week, Samantha Pastucha, an rehabilitation patient at Mary Free Bed, took a trip around Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park before going home to Muskegon.

Mary Free Bed says she was practicing using a wheelchair by getting real-world experience in one, giving Samantha the chance to navigate different spaces.

Her recreational therapists went along for the visit, helping her as needed, and working alongside her to regain strength and mobility.

Credit: Mary Free Bed
Pastucha triumphantly lifting The American Horse's leg

Her therapists say getting her out in public and exploring new terrain helps her to problem solve and gain confidence, as she prepares to use a wheelchair throughout her recovery.

Credit: Mary Free Bed
Pastucha entering the facility alongside her recreational therapists

But Samantha says the visit meant more to her than just seeing the plants and sculptures.

"I've been inside of a hospital for over two months now. Just to be outside, feel free, breathe the air; just to feel like a person, that was the best part of today."

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