Respiratory Care Students Spread Holiday Spirit at Pathways Center

December 17, 2021

On Thursday, Dec. 16, the college’s Respiratory Care senior students held their annual holiday gift giving celebration for the residents of Pathways Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Niskayuna.

Students and children at Pathways Nursing and Rehab Center

For the past 10 years, students and faculty have purchased, wrapped and delivered presents to the Pathway Center’s 34 children, many of whom are permanently on ventilators to support their breathing. Each child at the center receives a special gift, and the students and faculty also try to raise funds to purchase additional toys for the dayroom, bean bag chairs for the residents and personal care items such as hats, mittens and decorative blankets.

“All senior students in the Respiratory Care program rotate to complete some clinical education at the facility,” said Department Chair Patricia Hyland. “They get to know the children and the staff there. This has become an annual tradition for our department and a perfect way to celebrate the holiday season.”

The annual tradition is funded through the generosity of students and faculty from the Respiratory Care program and is also supported by Northeast Ventilator Rentals in Albany.

Students pose with gifts purchased for Pathways children

This year, senior student Rebecca Kiablick was inspired to take the spirit of giving a step further. Reaching out to friends and family through her social media channels, the mother of four received multiple donations to complete the wish list of each resident.

“I’d been at Pathways for clinicals and I’ve seen how the staff works with these children. In many ways, the staff becomes like their family,” she said. “This is a really special day for them.”

Rebecca noticed that not all of the residents had received everything on their wish lists so she reached out to see if she could recruit some extra help.

“The response was immediate. I had people asking how they could help out and donations coming in. I was really overwhelmed by the support. I have the most amazing friends and family,” she said. “I get how hard it’s been for so many people for the past few years, but this is something that restored my faith in humanity. People were more than willing to help.”

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