More than a month ago , James Wathen was forced to say goodbye to his beloved chihuahua, Bubba, when he was hospitalized at Baptist Health Corbin in Whitley County, Kentucky.
Not long after, despite the best efforts of the hospital staff, his condition deteriorated. The old man was near the brink of death, and his dying wish was to simply see
his beloved pet one more time.
Despite the hospital's no animal policy, workers at the hospital did their best
to find Bubba. No easy task, since the one-eyed Chihuahua was picked up by animal control after James entered the hospital. By coordinating with the Knox-Whitley Animal Shelter , they were able to find him where he had been placed with a foster family. Just like his owner, the dog also underwent depression from being separated with his former master.
"One of our social workers realized it was mourning the loss of the dog that was making our patient even worse and emotionally unhealthy, we pulled out all the stops and found the dog
," said Baptist Health Corbin, Cheif Nursing Officer Kimberly Probus.
James began to cry when he saw
Bubba again, and the dog in turn perked up. But what the hospital staff didn't expect was the marked improvement in the old man's health.
“He doesn’t even look like the same man. I didn’t expect the improvement to be this good
,” Probus said.
The hospital has arranged regular visits between Bubba and Wathen, and soon implemented a new policy which will allow other patients to have the same privilege. Wathen's condition is still unstable, but he is no longer in any imminent danger. Hopefully, with the love of his dog and the effort of the staff, he will continue to get better.
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