A Dying Man Talked About Loving Horses, So His Hospice Nurses Brought Him One

“We may not be able to put days into life, but we can put life into the days of our patients.”

Patrick Saunders, 87, was staying at the North Devon Hospice Center in England when a nurse heard him talking about his special memories riding horses. In an effort to make his last days happier, the nurse set up a special meeting for Saunders. 

"Coincidentally, the hospice center rents some of their land to an equine rescue center next door — and once the staff reached out to the rescue center, they immediately agreed to bring a horse over for a visit," Today reports. With that, they presented him with Victor, a horse with the same name as Saunders's father.

Saunders's daughter, Jayne Hayes, tells HuffPost that prior to Victor's visit, her father was having a rough couple of days.

"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."

In video footage taken during Victor's visit, we see Saunders's gigantic contagious smile, with Victor sticking his nose right in Saunders's hand. 

Three days after his visit with Victor, Saunders passed away.

"I'll never forget Patrick's smile when he was stroking that horse's face," Cathy Whattingham a nurse at the hospice center tells HuffPost. "We may not be able to put days into life, but we can put life into the days of our patients."

Though the story is sad, it's a beautiful reminder that people and animals have the ability to make each other happy, at every stage of life. 


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