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Posted: October 15, 2014

Hospital bends rules to allow dying man to see his dog


By Cox Media Group National Content Desk

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Some rules are meant to be broken.

A hospital in Kentucky decided to bend their no-animals policy to fulfill the final wish of a dying man. The impact the hospital’s decision had on both the patient and the dog shocked everyone.

According to The Dodo, James Wathern was admitted to Baptist Health Corbin, where his health steadily declined over the next few weeks. He lost interest in eating and seemed to be in emotional distress. When hospital social workers talked to Wathern, they discovered that he had a final wish: to see his beloved dog, Bubba.

Though the hospital has a no-animals policy, administrators contacted the local animal shelter to track down Bubba. The elderly, one-eyed Chihuahua was being cared for in a foster home, where he reportedly seemed depressed and was not eating well.  The Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter was able to reunite Bubba with Wathern and the results were emotional and rewarding for everyone involved.

The reunion gave Wathern’s health a boost as well. Hospital staff report that Wathern is eating normally again and his spirits are much improved. The same can also be said for Bubba. More visits with Bubba are planned in the future.

After seeing the positive results that this one pet visit had on a critically ill patient, Baptist Health Corbin is working to change their pet visitation policy to be more accommodating.


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