Step inside the Oak Trace Health Center, and odds are you’ll see Kay Suhbier wheeling around a cart with a popular parakeet and his cage. Sunny and Kay are like two peas in pod, as they bring sunshine to those dealing with a health setback. Kay does this because she knows that feeling all too well.
Twenty-one years ago, doctors diagnosed Kay with Parkinson’s disease. They gave her 18 months to live. Shortly after the diagnosis, she moved to Oak Trace because of the range of residential and health service options provided.
In the coming years, advancements in medicine and treatment gave her a new lease on life. Ever since, Kay and her pet parakeet have been paying forward a dose of positivity and compassion each and every day inside the Oak Trace community.
“I know what it’s like to go through a time when you can’t move and you’re down about things,” Kay says. Her key has been keeping focus on what she can do. “Don’t put it off until tomorrow, that’s what I’ve been living like for the last two decades.”
When visiting older adults at the Health Center, Sunny shows off his 50-word vocabulary. He enjoys the conversations with the residents, and even the occasional cracker they offer up as a treat. Kay says she hopes they brighten outlooks for those having a tough day. And residents say they do just that.