Gift of Life Given In New Way
“There’s my baby!” exclaimed Judy Thompson as she reached in to pull out a soft, brown puppy wrapped in a knitted yellow blanket, and immediately threw her arms tightly around her new bundle.
This was the scene at Memorial Home Health on May 15 as a new puppy was presented to long time Home Health patient, Judy Thompson.
Judy had been the ‘mommy’ to her Chihuahua, Buffy, for nine years. Sadly, due to liver cancer, Buffy was put to sleep. Understandably, this death was devastating for Judy, and the nurses from Home Health were deeply troubled by the loss to one of their patients. As a long time patient, Judy was considered a part of the Home Health family and everyone involved wanted to help.
Betty Gibson, LPN, knew of another patient’s daughter who was raising Chihuahuas and recommended Judy visit her. With the assistance of a friend, she went to visit and fell in love with the runt of the litter whom she immediately christened “Pebbles”. Unfortunately, since finances were tight, Judy knew she would have to wait before taking her puppy home if she were to afford him at all. She asked the owners to set the puppy aside on the chance she could acquire the money to purchase him.
When Betty informed her Home Health coworkers of the situation, they knew what they had to do. The Home Health employees took up a collection to purchase Pebbles and were able to surprise Judy and long time friend, Jerry Adams with a new “baby” to love and care for.
“I knew God had answered my prayer,” said Judy, “I prayed, ‘Lord my baby is gone and I haven’t got any money. If it’s your will, please get me a dog’. I’m overjoyed and I love everyone in Memorial Home Health. They have been my family since 2000.”
Nurses from Home Health say that not only have Judy’s spirits lifted since the puppy has entered her life, but her health has actually improved as well! Prior to owning Pebbles and after the loss of her first dog, Judy’s health was declining—her feet and ankles were swelling and walking—even with her cane—had become more difficult than ever. Although Judy remains on oxygen and still requires assistance if she ever is able to leave her home, it seems that this puppy is a gift that will continue to bless her life with love, joy and even health.
“Some may wonder if the money raised could have been used to purchase something seemingly more practical, but this puppy seems to have given Judy even the will to live and that’s definitely worth it to us.” says Glenna Combs, RN, BSN, Memorial Home Health Branch Manager.