Seated around a children’s table in chairs that were much too small, Tuukka Rask
and Mark Stuart showed off their artistic skills as they decorated picture frames with three patients from Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center.
The patients’ frames, shaped like bears, eventually held pictures with the players to remember the special day.
Rask and Stuart visited a few pediatric cardiology patients on Tuesday in support of the Bruins Go Red Initiative to promote heart health awareness.
“Tuukka and I are doing some arts and crafts with them, and taking some pictures,” said Stuart, who asked for one young girl’s help decorating when his cast, protecting his broken ring finger, got in the way.
“It’s always nice to come and see the kids, and unfortunately they’re feeling a little under the weather, but it’s great to come and put a smile on their face,” he said.
Rask led the Bruins to a big win Monday night, but was focused only on the children on Tuesday.
“It always feels nice to come to the hospitals, and you definitely have a smile on your face too because you’ve won some games, but that’s the second thing on our minds right now,” he said. “It’s something you really want to do for the community and for the kids.
"And it’s never a bad thing to take time off from your schedule and come here.”
Dan and Amy Freeman, whose five-year-old daughter Hannah was one of the patients the B’s visited on Tuesday, appreciated the entertaining distraction.
“It’s nice to see her take her mind off of the fact that she isn’t feeling too good, and actually feel pretty good for a little bit,” Dan said.
Pediatric cardiologist Alisa Niksch is happy to see the children smiling.
“Their families are going through a lot, and the resilience that some of these kids show us, with having to deal with things that no child their age should ever have to go through, is just a tremendous inspiration,” said Niksch. “This is such a great surprise and reward for them to have the players from the Bruins come and give them a day to forget about their problems and fears and anxieties.”
The Bruins will be hosting Heart Health night, to benefit the American Heart Association, on Wednesday, January 20 during the Bruins/Sabres game at 7:00 p.m. As part of the event cardiac patients will be able to participate in special events before the game. ---Lindsey Schmidt