Pinball Machine Donation Helping Patients At Ronald McDonald House

An arcade game is now being used as a therapy tool at Ronald McDonald House Charities across the country. It is called pinball therapy, which is said to positively impact a person's mental, emotional, and physical health.

Thursday, January 25th 2024, 9:58 am

By: News On 6


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An arcade game is now being used as a therapy tool at Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMCH) across the country.

Project Pinball Charity and Hangar Pinball worked together to get a brand new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle pinball machine installed at the Tulsa location.

It is called pinball therapy, which is said to positively impact a person's mental, emotional, and physical health.

"They started this in order to give families a little bit of fun and a little bit of escape in a time that is very serious," said Scarlet Henley, RMCH President & CEO.

RMCH helps families that live more than 10 miles away and have children in the hospital.

Hayden Cunningham said his newborn daughter is in the NICU after her jaundice levels spiked very high. When they first got to Tulsa from Vinita, he and his two-year-old daughter, Parker, spent the night in the hospital waiting room.

A case worker connected them to RMCH, where they are now staying. There, they can get away from the hospital, and their basic needs are provided for.

"We provide them with a place to stay, a place to take a shower, eat, and do laundry," said Henley.

Even going the extra step to make sure everyone in the family has what they need.

"Watching movies on a phone only entertains a two-year-old for so long," said Cunningham. "First thing they did was take her to the toy closet and give her a brand-new toy, so that was unexpected and almost makes you cry."

He said the pinball machine adds to it by giving them a small escape from reality.

"After you get a phone call saying you need to go to the NICU and watching your newborn baby get stuck and have wires and all that stuff, something that just takes your mind off everything is good," said Cunningham.

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