Gateway Transitional Care Center helps patients overcome accidents, illnesses and other health obstacles. A trip to Yellowstone National Park helped patients escape the monotony of everyday life in medical care.
It's the oldest national park in the United States and for some residents at Gateway Transitional Care Center in Pocatello, it's the first time they've seen it with their own eyes.
Gateway resident Charles Buck says, "We saw mountains, we saw waterfalls, the water going down the river."
All those views were just on the drive to the park.
Nearly ten years ago, Gateway took a similar trip with its residents at the time.
Former Gateway Facility Operations Manager Dale Rounkles says, "We brought eight patients with us and within a year, approximately seven of those patients had passed away. So, at that time, it made me real happy to think that I was able to give them an opportunity for one last trip."
This time around, Buck and four other Gateway residents woke up early, loaded in a van and made their way to the park to escape the everyday routine, or at least, part of it.
Buck says, "Taking our medication, making sure we're staying healthy."
A handful of Gateway employees, and their families, make sure the residents are happy and healthy so they can focus on taking in all the views Yellowstone has to offer.
The pinnacle of the trip was waiting for Old Faithful to go off. Residents of Gateway stayed inside where it was a little more warm, but they were still able to see the geyser from the inside the lodge.
For Buck, the wait is worth while.
He says, "Getting ready to blast off and then it started going up in the air... I had a fun trip. This is like the [most] wild trip I've ever been to "
Putting together a vacation for the residents is a lot of work for Gateway staff and while experiencing all the views at Yellowstone is great, it's not what makes the trip worth while for those making it happen.
Registered nurse and Gateway Assistant Director Brooke Burt says, "We camp a lot as a family so I always get to see this cool stuff, but for a lot of these guys it's their first time. So, it's just cool how excited they are to simply go look at the water or the tress. So, it's pretty cool."
The Gateway trip to Yellowstone spanned over two days and tomorrow, you'll meet one resident who says the relationship between patients and faculty is more like family than business.
That's tomorrow on KPVI News at 5:00.