Parakeet named 'Sunny' brightens days for seniors

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It's a simple story about Kay Suhrbier, her many friends at the home, and about Kay's pet parakeet named "Sunny". (WLS)

At the Oak Trace Health Center in Downers Grove, it's one of those very simple stories. It's about 73-year-old Kay Suhrbier, her many friends at the home, and about Kay's pet parakeet named "Sunny".

"I'm out with Sunny every day. We go to all the parties. Coffee hours. Oh, and I visit people in their rooms," Kay Suhrbier said.

That's right - 365 days a year, Kay and Sunny make people smile. And as I said, this is a simple story. A story of doing something nice for others.

"Basically just create a bright spot in people's days. You know everybody has some down days and that," Suhrbier said.

Kay worked for 25 years as a biologist at Argonne Laboratories. Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, she has spent the last 21 years here. She has had Sunny for almost seven years.

I'll have to be honest with you. When I first heard about this story I wondered if a little yellow parakeet could make this many people this happy. The answer is: yes.

Sunny is also part therapist and doctor.

"I tell him, you made a lot of people smile today. And that's medicine anybody can use," Suhrbier said.

So listen to Sunny and share the message: smile.
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