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New Patient Story

  • Author: Devon Kelly.
  • Date Submitted: Jul 19, 2021

Dear BCH Canine Corp. I want to personally thank Tom Dueber, the handlers of Poppy and Semi, and the dogs themselves for helping me through my after-surgery stay at BCH. I had hip surgery on June 7th and 14th and spent the week of the 14th in recovery at the hospital. My mom reached out to BCH and the Canine Corps. because she knows the one thing that can always make me feel better is dogs. She never told me that she tried to get the dogs to come to visit me but it was the best surprise that I could ask for.

On the third day of my hospital stay, which for me was the toughest day, I get a knock on the door from someone who asked if I was expecting a visitor. I was pretty out of it and confused because my mom and sister just left, as someone walked in, I see this beautiful dog and I was fighting back the tears. She put her little head where I could pet her and I could almost see a smile on her face. This moment felt like the moment my recovery changed. Poppy was so precious and spent some time with me that boosted my spirits and I can't explain it but gave me the encouragement to keep going and get through this stay.

That day I was able to stand up for the first time which is extremely difficult and how low my blood level counts were was highly impressive. I owe that to my visit with Poppy. When Poppy walked out of the room, I could hear all the nurses in the hallway just raving about Poppy and it not only boosted my mood but that of all of the staff for the rest of the day. It was one of the most touching experiences I have ever had and called my mom immediately after it happened. Little did I know I was the first person to get a visit from the Canine Corps since COVID started. I was so humbled, happy, and honored that they were able to allow the visits for me. The next day when my mom and sister were with me, I got another visit from Semi. Not only was I so happy, but my mom and sister were so ecstatic. Right before he walked in, I found out I needed a blood transfusion so this made that day much easier than it could have been.

When I saw Semi, he relieved all of my nerves and for those few moments, I forgot I was going to have to go through that. Dogs really do have a way to my heart like a lot of people and I can't really explain it but the day after my transfusion I was able to stand up, walk, and even got released from the hospital. I truly do not think I would have done that if I didn't have the dogs visit me. So, thank you again to Tom Dueber for going to the BCH Board, jumping hurdles, making phone calls., and getting the permission to make this happen. You brought so much joy and help to me I can't really express it in words. I can't thank you enough.