News and Events

Rambam Nurse Arranges Reunion Between a Hospitalized Patient and His Pet

Publication Date: 4/11/2021 10:30 AM

What happens when a hospitalized patient misses his beloved pets? The Head Nurse in the Department of Internal Medicine D at Rambam Health Care Campus ensured that one of her patients was given the opportunity to spend time with one of his three dogs.

Aryeh with Chelsea. Photography: Rambam HCCAryeh with Chelsea. Photography: Rambam HCC

Aryeh (72), a widower who lives with his three children, has been hospitalized in the Department of Internal Medicine D at Rambam Health Care Campus for about three weeks. While his children haven’t left his bedside, he really misses his three dogs – Chelsea, Chaver (“Friend”), and Shleikeh. In coordination with his children and with the approval of Inessa Shitik, the department’s Head Nurse, and a social worker, it was decided to reunite Aryeh with Chelsea. The special meeting between the two was made possible only after the team was convinced that the meeting would not endanger Aryeh in any way.

Aryeh, still in his bed and accompanied by a nurse, and Chelsea held their joyful reunion at the hospital entrance, along with two of Aryeh’s children.

"It’s important to understand that a person who has been hospitalized for so long actually represses emotions that would have been expressed in his natural environment. The encounter with the animal allows the patient to feel loved, helps him to bring back those emotions, encourages him to accept responsibility, and increases the self-worth." Notes Shitik, adding, “this happiness releases endorphins that can strengthen the natural immune system and potentially help the patient recover."

Click the picture below to watch a few moments of the special meeting between Aryeh and Chelsea!