When asked if he could have one wish fulfilled during his twilight years, Gary Murphy, age 69, a native New Mexican, lifetime Lobo fan and a resident at Las Palomas Care and Rehabilitation Center—a skilled nursing center in Albuquerque—he asked to attend a University of New Mexico basketball game. So, on Saturday, Jan. 7, Murphy and the sponsors of this wish who are employees of SunBridge Healthcare, whose offices are located in Albuquerque, will attend the game together.
The nursing center has a unique wish-granting program called Wish Upon a Twilight Star that was inspired by a partnership the care center shares with the national organization, Twilight Wish Foundation, gives residents the opportunity to ask for and in many cases receive their wish in their twilight years. This is the fourth wish the nursing center has made come true for the residents but the first to attend a Lobo game.
"This unique wish program brings employees and residents together to help enrich the lives of our residents," said Maureen Robbins, activities director and the employee that nominated Murphy.
The Wish program came about from a partnership established in 2008 between SunBridge Healthcare and the Twilight Wish Foundation, a non-profit organization that grants seniors their wishes in their twilight years. SunBridge, operator of Las Palomas Care and Rehab, received 160 wish applications in 2011, from residents nationwide. So far, more than 110 wishes have been granted to residents in SunBridge nursing centers since the partnership began.
Las Palomas Care and Rehabilitation Center, which offers skilled nursing and short-term rehabilitation services healthcare needs for up to 100 patients and residents, has been serving the healthcare needs of Bernalillo County for 28 years since first opening its doors in 1984.