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Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Children's visit a kick for Gostkowski

By Mike Reiss

BOSTON – When Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski attended the University of Memphis, his baseball teammates would visit St. Jude Children’s Hospital. He enjoyed that experience, so when presented the opportunity to visit patients at Boston’s Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, he didn't hesitate.

“Any time I can come up here, to any kind of hospital with kids involved, and help brighten their day, I’m up for it any day of the week,” said Gostkowski, who has a 14-month old son, Slayden, with his wife Hallie.

Stephen Gostkowski
Stephen Gostkowski signed autograhps at Boston's Children's Hospital.

“It’s something I’m passionate about. Any time you have a chance to use your status as a professional athlete, a player, and to just have this jersey on and put a couple of smiles on kids’ faces, it’s very rewarding.”

Wearing his blue No. 3 Patriots jersey, Gostkowski took part in the Children’s Hospital Mid-Week Morning Show, which is hosted by pediatric patients and broadcast in patients’ rooms throughout the hospital. He then visited patients, at one point putting on scrubs and a surgical mask. One parent said it had been a while since their son smiled, but Gostkowski’s visit changed that.

Gostkowski and his family call New England home for 10 months of the year, and one of the benefits is being close to Boston’s great hospitals, including Children’s.

"Your kid runs a fever and you're freaking out," he said. "Just knowing that there are places like this to bring him when he's sick, whether it's something small or something serious, and they're going to get taken care of, it helps you sleep at night."

Gostkowski also took the time to talk football with a few reporters. He reported that his rehabilitation from surgery for a torn right quad has been on schedule.

“The leg is feeling good,” he said. “Doing rehab is one of the toughest things that you can go through. It’s a long time until you actually get to do something with it. I have a lot of time on my side. I’m feeling good and just doing what I can. Hopefully there will be no setbacks. I don’t feel like that will be a problem.”