Terminally-ill patient reunited with beloved horse in emotional final farewell

  • A dying lady was able to say a last goodbye to her beloved horse after hospice staff arranged for him to visit in her final hours.

    The owner, who the family would like to remain anonymous, was receiving care at Dove House Hospice in Hull for motor neurone disease.

    On the day of the visit (20 April), she was brought out into the garden to see Jake for the first time in months.

    The family also has two other horses, but she had owned Jake for 17 years and he had a special place in her heart.

    “Mum had not seen Jake for a few months as her health deteriorated and we always wanted Mum to see him one more time as she was absolutely devoted to him,” said the patient’s daughter.

    “The staff at Dove House were so positive and said that it was possible. I can’t believe we managed to do it, to take the horse to the hospice was amazing and everything was organised so quickly.

    “Diane, one of the senior sisters, arranged for the horsebox and her friend Francesca Brown from Croft Cottage Stables brought Jake with only a few hours’ notice and were only too willing to help. We are so grateful to them — everyone has been so kind.

    “Mum’s bed was been taken outside into the gardens. When she saw Jake she was overwhelmed. Jake nuzzled up to her and you could see how much it meant to both of them. Jake was also happy as he loves the attention, so he was in his element.”

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    The idea to bring Jake to the hospice came about when a member of staff mentioned how important it is for patients to be surrounded by those they love in their final days, horses included.

    Sue Fisher, senior sister at Dove House, said the day was “very emotional” for both family and staff.

    I felt privileged to have been a part of something so wonderful, making special memories for the family,” she said.

    “It is a memory I will treasure knowing that we made it possible to fulfil her wish to see her horse. At the hospice we go that extra mile to meet patients’ and families’ wishes no matter how big or small.”

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