Houston hospital patients go to rodeo

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HOUSTON, Tx- Staff and patients from Harris Health Quentin Mease Hospital took their physical therapy session the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Friday. The festivities offered a unique backdrop as the patients work to recover from surgeries and injuries.

The group toured the petting zoo, exhibit halls, and the food stands while working with their wheelchairs and developing walking skills, tasks that became a little more challenging once you add crowds and chaos to the mix.

"Maneuvering in a crowd is very difficult, and then we have a lot of different surfaces," explained recreational therapist Amy Parker.

"I've been practicing walking and out here I have to walk on unlevel surfaces, the surfaces are different," added patient Pamela Sidney.

The benefits weren't all physical, though.

"There are a lot of cognitive aspects, like looking on maps to locate things like restrooms, and safety awareness," said Parker.

Parker says the Rodeo is a great place for the patients to work their way back into the community and get comfotable with doing things on their own again.

"Sometimes folks, when they come to rehab, they get to a certain point, then they go home and they kind of relax. So, here, we're taking them outside, to show them that they're able to continue doing the things that they've learned with us, but they can do it on their own out in the community," Parker said.