A few years ago I had formulated a plan to reunite a patient, who had been in inpatient care for a number of months, with his horse who I had been informed, he missed dearly. Something had been lost during the clinical handover – the patient had actually sold his horse some months prior. Instead I arranged for him to receive the Trackside horse-racing channel, and assured him that he could do phone-betting. I filed the plan away in the recesses of my brain, and looked forward to bringing it out again if the opportunity ever arose again to make use of it.
The other week there came an opportunity for a horse-loving patient to have contact with their favourite species of animal, having being deprived of equine company since falling ill recently. Thank you to all the staff involved who helped to make a special event happen for one of our patients. Good job with figuring out how to extend the oxygen supply out into the courtyard, nothing was too hard.
A treasured memory was made for our patient and their family. During the moments of human and horse contact, the suffering of the past long weeks was erased from our patient’s face and replaced by a look of peaceful contentment. As the patient’s breathing calmed down, the onlookers in the courtyard were left catching their own collective breath, moved by the beauty of the scene that had played out before them.
It is in these special moments that we show the world the difference that Palliative Care can make – It is special events like these that keep us coming back for more. Well done to my team, I’m proud of you!