You may have heard heartwarming stories concerning hospitals which allow terminally ill patients to receive their pets as visitors, usually cats or dogs. However, a hospital visit from a horse is much more unusual! That is what happened in England recently, in the case of an 80-year-old equestrian patient Frank Keat, age 80, who was dying of cancer. He was stunned when his bed was wheeled outside one day and he was greeted on the patio by his favorite horse, 5-year-old Early Morn.
The caring nurses at Bodmin Community Hospital, Cornwall, England arranged this visit for him secretly, after Frank told them stories of his lifelong passion for horses. He died peacefully a few days after the visit. His family said they were overjoyed that he was able to see his favorite equine friend one last time, since this meant so much to Frank. In fact, it granted his dying wish.
His son, Tim said that Frank had been involved with horses one way or another since the age of 15, and knew everything there was to know about them. He had owned thousands of these animals during his lifetime, but had to get rid of them all, with the exception of Early Morn, as he could no longer care for them.
It all came about when Frank's nurses contacted Tim to say that Frank seemed down, and asked if the family could bring the horse in to cheer him up. They organized it all in secret, as a final gift for him. It was apparently a very emotional, memorable day for everyone on the ward. The nurses commented that Frank was speechless and overwhelmed.
Early Morn also later attended Frank’s funeral at the church in Cardinham, and a collection was taken for the Anchor Ward, where he spent his last days. A fitting send-off for a man who had devoted his life to horses.
Picture courtesy of www.uk.news.yahoo.com