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Bonnie Patrick-Mattalian

The Performance of a Lifetime

Holy Name - Bonnie Patrick-Mattalian

Bonnie Patrick-Mattalian believes life has blessed her many times. As a wife, mother and throughout two successful careers – first as a Broadway performer and then as a healthcare consultant – she has often jumped at opportunities to share those blessings with others, volunteering or donating to important causes.

However, it was a recent life-threatening bout with COVID-19 that truly put the impact of giving back into perspective, inspiring Bonnie to return to her roots in theatre as a way to bring joy to those in need.

To get the job done, she enlisted the help of a familiar character, Mrs. Claus. (That’s right, the one married to Santa and living at the North Pole.)

Bonnie’s theatrical return now sees her regularly don a crimson suit and spectacles to appear as Mrs. Kitty Christmas Claus, delivering presents and a warm hug to young and old alike.

“It’s time to spread joy – it’s my time to give back,” she said. “I’m blessed to be alive and able to do so much.”

Just before Thanksgiving of 2020, Bonnie’s husband tested positive for Covid, and within a few days she became sick with the virus as well. Their condition deteriorated rapidly and two days later both were admitted to Holy Name. Bonnie was admitted with double pneumonia and plummeting oxygen levels. Her organs began to shut down.

The experience left her in awe of the unrelenting care provided by the doctors and nurses at Holy Name. She was deeply touched by how personally invested the caregivers were in the recovery of their patients.

“I remember as my oxygen levels started improving and it looked like things were turning around, one nurse actually started jumping up and down and clapping,” Bonnie said. “That just tells you so much about how they really care for their patients.”

Bonnie and her husband were released a week later, but their battle was far from over. They needed oxygen at home and, still very weak and fatigued, they were stressed by the fear of dying.

Holy Name sent physical therapists and home health aides to Bonnie’s home and connected her via telemedicine with specialized staff members who could monitor their conditions and provide comfort and help them overcome their fears.

“People kept calling to speak with us. If we didn’t answer or they detected something wasn’t right, they came right away,” Bonnie said. “Knowing that someone was monitoring us helped more than you can imagine.”

As Bonnie recovered, the idea of using the character of Mrs. Claus to bring a bit of happiness into a world adjusting to the pandemic began to take shape. By Halloween of 2021, she had retaken the stage, handing out candy from her porch dressed as the wife of Old Saint Nick.

“The kids loved it,” she said. “They came right up to me with these huge smiles on their faces. It was wonderful.”

With Christmas fast approaching, Bonnie planned to have Mrs. Claus visit those recovering from serious battles with COVID, as well as healthcare workers and first responders whose lives have been so impacted by the virus. “I’m so grateful that I’m here and able to give back. God Bless Holy Name and all of our healthcare workers.”

Bonnie says this role is as important as any during her career in 42nd Street on Broadway, reminding people that happiness is just a smile away and the hope of Christmas can shine a light into each of our lives.

Learn more about physical therapists and home health aides at Holy Name