April 11, 2021, was a victory date for me as I had received my second shot of vaccine. I thought, “I am free again.” It had been almost one year and one month since I was able to think about resuming life in society again. My first thoughts were visiting family in the Midwest and Florida, resuming trying to date a woman who I really had gotten to know and liked very much, and going back to the therapy pool as my back was stiff as a board from my Parkinson’s.

I looked at the Sutter Health website and saw that it was closed. I was so disappointed. I anticipated the opening would be soon so I could be back to seeing all the people who I could relate to who suffer from chronic pain and so that I could have pain relief from the warm water. Then the bad news came that the pool was empty and was permanently closed. Now this was really bad news as I suffer from an upper back injury.

Sutter offered a list of “comparable” therapy pools. I do not drive and used to take the bus, which dropped me off at Mills Hospital. These alternative recreational pools are more expensive, colder and harder to get to on a limited income. I ask that Sutter reconsider for the many people like me who really need the Mickelson therapy pool to help reduce pain and suffering.

Please sign our petition to protest the closure: change.org/save-the-Mickelson-pool.

Gary Loeffler

San Mateo

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(2) comments


Thank you for your comments. Many of us are suffering and not finding respite in other “recommended” pools because they do not exist.

This therapy pool offers respite from our daily physical challenges; there is no substitute.

I hope The Community that put this healing pool will prevail in offering hope and health to so many of us who are suffering from disease, accidents, and many other conditions, all of which I have witnessed giving hope at this remarkable pool.


Gary, thank you so much for sharing your personal experiences - both the positive ones coming with pool access, and the negative ones following Sutter's outrageous and precipitous decision to shut down an important healthcare resource for our county.

I found my way to the pool when severe arthritis started causing pain and loss of mobility. I saw the wonderful community of folks brought together by the warm, healing water. I hope that the county healthcare districts and board of supervisors will advocate for this crucial resource to be reopened to the citizens.

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