Client Profile: In Loving Memory of Aaron McNeil

Aaron McNeil arrived at the LifeROOTS Menaul West Day Program seeking opportunity, support and, most of all understanding after two years of extended treatments at UNM Hospital for major health issues. Aaron came to visit all of the programs at LifeROOTS and was interested in the day program – but what caught his attention the most was the red and blue drum set in the back of the Menaul West building. His eyes lit up with a sparkle, and a smile so big that it could melt hearts appeared on his face. To accommodate Aaron’s needs, choices and to support him to the best of our abilities at LifeROOTS, Menaul CIC staff, program nurses and the residential agency would all arrive before 6:00 a.m. daily, for two weeks straight to UNM hospital.
Despite various questions, concerns and exhaustion, all LifeROOTS staff had one common goal: creating a safe community for Aaron. A community full of choices, involvement and opportunity to express his needs, and wants.
Aaron attended the day program for one month and two weeks, where he brough his companion George. George was his transition item, emotional support and most of all, his go to – from childhood to his stay at UNM hospital. While attending the day program, Aaron was free from restrictions and integrated successfully within the community, and enjoyed participating in the program.
“Aaron was happy going to the LifeROOTS Day Program because he was allowed to do stuff that he liked to do, and he was busy,” said his mother Marsha Robards.
Aaron will truly be missed, and will always be a success to all of us here at LifeROOTS. The meaning of Success is the following:
  • S- Sitting
  • U – Understanding
  • C – Creating
  • C – Community
  • E- Everyday
  • S- Strategies
  • S – Support
Aaron McNeil received all of the above – and more – and will shine beyond the years to come, truly showing the community what true success looks like if given the opportunity to have self-choices, involvement and proper advocates in your life. The honor was ours to serve Aaron McNeil.
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