A terminally ill woman was given the chance to say her final goodbyes to her beloved horse and dogs, thanks to the incredible work of hospice staff.
Jan Holman had been separated from her pets since she was admitted to the Hospice of the Good Shepherd in Chester several weeks ago.
Due to her quick admission to the hospice, which covers Cheshire and North Wales, the 68-year-old didn’t get the chance to say goodbye to her two King Charles Spaniels Monty and Rowley, or her horse of 10 years, Bob.
Coronavirus safety measures meant that hospice patients aren’t allowed visitors, and Jan’s husband of 46 years Dennis says the lack of contact had been very difficult for her.
After four weeks at the hospice, Jan was then moved to end of life care.
Knowing how much Jan was missing her four-legged friends, the staff went above and beyond to organise a special visit.
Even though she was unable to get out of bed, Jan was excited to have the chance to see them one more time.
Dennis said: “It was just such a relief once Jan was moved from the hospital to the hospice in Chester and we were able to have named visitors who could come and see Jan regularly, however, we never imagined that we would be able to include Monty, Rowley and Bob on the visiting list.
“All the staff here have been wonderful. Jan has been so well cared for, nothing is too much trouble even down to the chef coming every day to see what he can tempt Jan to eat.
“Nothing is too much trouble, including arranging for a horse to visit!”
Jan added: “I just can’t believe what the staff here at the hospice have done for me. Until a few weeks ago I was still riding Bob every day and he is such an important part of my life, and I have missed him so much.
“I knew that arranging for my dogs to visit was possible as we had a neighbour who was a patient at the hospice a few years ago and we were allowed to bring the dogs to visit her, but I just didn’t expect that they would ever be able to give me the chance to see Bob one more time.”
Louise Saville King, deputy ward manager at the hospice, told North Wales Live: “It was obvious when Jan first came to us that she is passionate about her animals and that horses have played a large part in her life for many years.
“The ethos of hospice care is not just about caring for the clinical needs of our patients but also looking after their emotional and spiritual needs as well.
“It’s about making a difference to our patients and their families in whatever way we can.
“We know that sometimes people are scared at the thought of coming to the hospice, but it’s a positive place where people are supported and well cared for.
“The work of the hospice really does make a difference to people’s lives.“
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