Hospital Allows Terminally Ill Patient’s Dog to Come for a Visit

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Hospitals usually don’t allow pets inside their walls, unless they are service dogs, but Baptist Hospital in Corbin, Ky., allowed Bubba, a house pet, to come visit his terminally ill owner, James Wathern, after the elderly man stopped eating.

Photo Credit: Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter
Photo Credit: Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter

Wathern has been at the hospital for over six weeks, and during all this time he has been away from his beloved, one-eyed Chihuahua. The pet was turned over to Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter (KWAS) and since then, Bubba has been living in a loving foster home.

Hospital social workers became worried for Wathern when he lost all interest in food and his emotional health declined drastically. Hospital workers asked the dying man if there was anything they could do for him, and as a dying wish, Wathern asked to see his dog one more time. What happened next was unexpected.

“When Bubba was handed to James he started to cry, and then Bubba started to snuggle James,” said Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter.

The pet’s visit uplifted the dying man’s spirit so much that Wathern began eating and has regained some strength.

“[The emotional reunion] makes you realize that animals are not just pets they are loved ones,” said KWAS.

Baptist Hospital is considering revising their policy to allow visits from pets. Bubba and Wathern have many scheduled visits in their future.

Watch the emotional hospital reunion here.

0 thoughts on “Hospital Allows Terminally Ill Patient’s Dog to Come for a Visit”

  1. It’s documented that stroking a pet has positive health benefits. I don’t know of a single animal lover that wouldn’t feel better with their pet around.

  2. That’s cool.I wish could’ve seen my two dogs while I was in the hospital for A few months.He deserved to see his dog and that guy was his dogs life.

  3. The VA hospital in Saginaw, MI allowed me to bring my pup to see my dad. One of the nurses even brought him treats.

  4. When I was in ICU I cried because I missed my dog so much and wanted to go home to see him, the nurse and my husband surprised me when I had one of my walks outside of the hospital and brought my dog around the parking lot so I can see and pet him…. And man that made me feel so much better


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