My therapy dog Bonnie and I visit patients and staff at several hospitals. On a recent afternoon, a coronary intensive care nurse asked if we could visit a patient she was worried about. Bonnie and I found a very ill patient connected to wires, tubes and lifesaving equipment. Bonne laid next to the patient on the gurney for at least 15 minutes. The patient kind of petted Bonnie and tried to smile. Bonnie and I then continued our therapy animal rounds.
On a visit several weeks later the same nurse asked, “Do you remember the patient I asked you to visit?” She told me that they expected the patient to pass soon but the patient started to miraculously improving shortly after our visit. Several days later he was moved to a step down unit and was currently convalescing at home.
The doctors and hospital staff had already done all they could to help this patient. The nurse felt that the therapy dog visit was a key factor in the unexpected recovery.
It’s personally rewarding and gratifying to know that volunteering as part of a therapy team can and does make a difference to so many people.