Posted on November 15, 2019

Euchre brings two Mary Free Bed patients together during recreational therapy sessions

Two patients at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital have bonded after recreational therapists brought them together for a game of cards.

Ben Marshall came to Mary Free Bed in early November after surgeries to repair damage to vertebrae in his neck. He was injured in a 2010 workplace accident and also experienced other illnesses and injuries that revealed breaks in several other vertebrae in his neck and upper body. As part of his rehabilitation, he told his recreational therapist that his wife had been asking him for the past six years to learn the popular card game Euchre.

Meanwhile, in another part of the hospital, Al “Bud” Bailey was recovering from injuries he sustained in a motorcycle accident. Bud was riding a motorcycle he bought to celebrate his 80th birthday when he was hit by a bus near his home in Bentley, in northeast Michigan. He was flown to the University of Michigan Hospital for treatment and surgery and came to Mary Free Bed in late October for rehabilitation.

Bud and his wife, Gretchen, are big card players and said they’ve been playing Euchre for 30 years. So, since Ben wanted to learn to play and also needed therapy to work on finger dexterity, the recreational therapy team brought the two together.

Ben and Bud recently teamed up against Gretchen and recreational therapist Mackenzi Krieger for a showdown. The men took the game right up to the final hand, and Bud’s Euchre mentoring almost paid off, but they ended just a couple points behind in the shortened game.

The men exchanged contact information and hope to play cards together again after their time at Mary Free Bed. Bud graduated Nov. 16 and returned home. He hopes to begin walking again in a few weeks and wants to return to riding one of his four horses. Ben hopes to return to his Detroit home by the end of November and is looking forward to surprising his wife with his newly-discovered Euchre skills.