Special UW Hospital requests get results!
Special Request #1
I received an email on a Thursday night from a woman wanting a visit for her mom who was quite depressed and missing her dogs. She said a Golden Retriever would be especially welcome. We were JUST at the hospital that night, but her email came in too late for us to accommodate them.
I put a special request email out to our teams that evening, to see if anyone could come during the week, and I heard from several people right away. The patient had dog visits on Friday, Sunday, and Monday. The teams scheduled for the next Thursday were going to stop by, too, but the patient had already been discharged. Since her daughter thought her mom would be there at least a week and maybe longer, I credit all the therapy dog visits with a quick recovery!
Yvonne & Daisy, Marnie & Finnegan, Andrea & Samantha were the teams that visited. Courtney & Chopper volunteered, too, “if a Golden Retriever couldn’t go,” but Samantha filled that request!
Special Request #2
Around Christmas, we had a special request from the Health Psychology department to visit a young man who was paralyzed from the neck, down. (He could feel sensations, but not move.) I was lucky to be along on the first visit, acting as visit captain while Andrea & Samantha visited with him.
Samantha sat solidly by the patient’s bed for at least 20 minutes while a nurse helped the patient pet the dog. There were about six of the unit nurses watching from the hallway. They all wanted to see the patient’s reaction when he saw the dog — a big smile! The nurses were crying, I was crying, and Andrea said somehow she held it together.
They had a very engaging conversation with the patient, the patient’s dad, and the nurse. Andrea said the visit made her whole holiday. In the following weeks, several other teams (Sheila & Betty, Marnie & Finnegan, Yvonne & Daisy) were able to visit the patient before he was discharged. They were challenging visits, but the teams handled it like the pros they are.
And a Great Experience at Meriter Hospital
Well, Molly was just the right motivation for one patient to do just that as we all cheered her on to walk to the line on the floor where Molly waited. Then a BIG celebration! Evidently they had been trying to get the patient walking for quite a while and were excited to finally get her moving again with the help of Molly.
Before leaving the unit, Sandy & Molly got another big thank you from the staff.
Article by: Karen & Pete