Elizabethton Twins visit Niswonger Children's Hospital
Michael Quesada (standing), Kelvin Mention and Niko Goodrum visit with 3-year-old patient Briley Britton (far right, pink shirt) and her sister, Bailey. Erin Bachus, child life specialist, watches from the doorway.
Six-year-old patient Dre’vin McKinney with his Elizabethton Twins team photo, being visited by Kelvin Mention (standing) and Michael Quesada.
JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. – Three members of the Elizabethton Twins baseball team made a visit to Niswonger Children’s Hospital
on Wednesday, July 18, stopping in many of the rooms to say hello to young patients and to hand out autographed baseballs and Twins team photos.
It’s an annual event for the Appalachian League baseball team, said Twins team president Harold Mains, who accompanied outfielder Kelvin Mention, catcher Michael Quesada and shortstop Niko Goodrum on the visit. Each year, the Twins bring a small group of players to the hospital to try to bring a little cheer to kids who are receiving treatment.
“It’s good not just for the kids but this is also good for our players,” Mains said.
“Baseball is just a game,” Quesada said. “It doesn’t mean anything compared to this. These kids are in a battle.”
The Child Life Program at Niswonger Children’s Hospital coordinates this type of special event to promote normalcy and coping for children in the hospital, said Marinda McConnell, Child Life Program manager.
It was the first such visit for all three of the players, and they said it was a great experience to see kids smiling despite being in a difficult situation. One tiny girl even blew the players a kiss.
“That little kiss made my day,” Mention said with a laugh. “I’ll remember that all day.”
About Mountain States Health Alliance
Mountain States Health Alliance, a not-for-profit health care organization based in Johnson City, Tenn., operates a family of hospitals serving a 29-county, four-state region (Northeast Tennessee, Southwest Virginia, Southeastern Kentucky and Western North Carolina). MSHA offers a large tertiary hospital, several community hospitals, two critical access hospitals, rehabilitation, a children’s hospital, a behavioral health hospital, home care and hospice services as well as a comprehensive medical management corporation. Its 13,500 team members, associated physicians and volunteers are committed to its mission of bringing loving care to health care. For more information, visit www.msha.com.