A terminally ill man’s love of horses was acted upon by compassionate staff at a North Devon Hospice.
Patient Patrick Saunders told nurses at the hospice of his love for horses and how he had spent his life around them.
“His passion for horses was so clear and they’d obviously played a big part in his life,” said nurse Cathy Whattingham.
“We happen to be next door to the North Devon Equine Rescue Centre, so we thought we would see if they might be able to bring a horse to the hospice to visit Patrick.”
She said “one phone call later and there was a beautiful horse standing outside the front door."
Patrick was not well enough to get out of bed, so the nurses wheeled him into the courtyard to meet the visitor.
Patrick’s daughter, Jayne, arrived at the hospice to see her father stroking the horse, who is called Victor.
“I simply didn’t expect him to have an experience like that at the hospice,” she said.
“He’d actually had a couple of bad days and wasn’t himself at all, but he was absolutely full of beans when I arrived and you could see the joy on his face from being able to interact with such a gorgeous animal.
“Horses have played a big part in our family’s life, so this was a very special moment.”