In October of 2011, my wife Mary had an 8 hour surgery at the Cancer Treatment Center in Goodyear, AZ. After the surgery, she was unable to breathe on her own and was placed in a medically induced coma for 26 hours. When she was taken off the ventilator and slowly brought out of the coma, her blood pressure and heart rate were extremely high and she did not recognize her surroundings. It was if part of her was gone.
Several days before Mary’s surgery, I met a Kathleen and Cooper in the hallway when they were making their rounds visiting patients. I told Kathleen that Mary had a dog much like Cooper as a young girl.
Luckily, the day they brought Mary out of the coma Kathleen and Cooper were in the lobby celebrating “The Blessing of the Paws.” I asked one of the staff get them and bring them up to ICU. When Kathleen entered the room she told Mary that Cooper was there to see her and asked if it was okay to put Cooper in bed with her. Mary nodded yes. Kathleen put Mary’s hand on Cooper and as she started petting him her blood pressure and heart rate started to come down. I could see there was light in my wife’s eyes again as she reconnected to herself.
I will always believe that my wife and this little dog are forever connected and thanks to the power of a little therapy dog named Cooper, I have my wife back.
We have been to CTCA many times since 2011. Kathleen and Cooper always make sure they are there to visit with us. The best part is when Cooper sees Mary he lets out a howl of recognition as if to say,” I’m so happy to see you again!”