East Lancashire Hospice | Covering Blackburn, Darwen, Accrington and Clitheroe areas

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Patient's wish to see her horse made reality in hospice

Two horses visited the hospice to see their owner for the last time, thanks to our nursing staff who made the visit a reality.

Carol Pearson, 61 from Clitheroe was suffering from an agressive form of cancer and was admitted to the hospice in June.

Her family business is horses and Carol ran Gee-Up Equine laundry.  Carol was passionate about horses and ran the Clitheroe-based business with her daughter, Emma, 25.

She had Teddy, a 15-year-old Belgian Warmblood for 12 years and the family also have Time, a 28-year-old Shetland. Emma said that the idea of the horses visiting her Mum in the hospice was made a reality when a staff members told Emma that it could be arranged. Carol’s husband Carl, 61, and son Mick, 27, spent around two hours with Carol and the horses at the hospice.

Emma said: “A nurse saw a picture of Teddy at her bedside and said that a visit was possible. I had always promised mum I’d get her back on Teddy, she was absolutely devoted to him and when she got her own horse it was the realisation of a life-long dream. To take the horses there was the next best thing to her riding them so we drove over in a trailer. Mum’s bed had taken outside into the gardens. She was dozing and I gently woke her saying ‘look who’s come to see you’. When she saw Teddy she was overwhelmed and the biggest, brightest smile I’ve ever seen lit up her face. It was like Teddy and Time knew as they nuzzled up to her. Teddy is sometimes wary but he didn’t waver, he even ducked under a parasol. They were both good as gold the entire time."

Sadly Carol died just nine days after the visit but her daughter Emma paid tribute to the care her mum received in the hospice. She said: "We never had a worry about how Mum was looked after at the hospice. The staff are wonderful, they look after the family as well as the patient. To know mum was so superbly looked after in her final days was a great comfort.”

Gaynor Barlow, head of inpatient unit said: “The day was very emotional for both family and staff. I felt privileged to have been a part of something so wonderful, making special memories for the family. It is a memory I will treasure knowing that we made it possible to meet this lady’s wish to see her horses. At the hospice we go that extra mile to meet patients and families wishes no matter how big or small.”

To help the hospice continue providing care it needs £3.5m a year.

Donate instantly by texting ELHS55 £3 to 70070 from your mobile phone or click here to donate online.