Francisco Mena has been hospitalized in Porto Alegre, Brazil for the last four months. Originally being rushed in to undergo emergency surgery for a perforated intestine, he became very depressed and lost his appetite. Things quickly went downhill and Mena lost his appetite and became too weak to walk. His health was rapidly declining and his doctors were running out of options to keep this poor patient alive. With medications not working, Mena too disgruntled to take care of himself and his health too poor to leave the hospital, it seemed like he might never turn around.
That is, until he received a visit from a friend - Esquilador, his beloved horse. The hospital Mena was staying in had allowed dogs to visit their owners in the past, but never a horse. Although he wasn't compact and likely wouldn't fit easily through the hospital waiting room, Mena's doctors weren't going to give up the opportunity to bring joy into his life. Dr. Daniel Souto Silveira, one of his physicians, was eager to let Esquilador come by for a visit.
According to The Dodo, everything changed when hospital staff arranged for Esquilador to visit Mena last week. It was Mena's 65th birthday and he was happily surprised to see his equine best friend waiting for him outside the hospital doors. His mood lifted instantly and his doctors and nurses have noted that his health has changed practically overnight.
"It was surprising to me," Dr. Silveira told newspaper Zero Hora, noting that the positive effects happened immediately when Mena and Esquilador reunited. "He transmitted love and the horse reciprocated, doing something the animal couldn't imagine: saving his life." In fact, the visit from Esquilador had such an impact on Mena that he's expected to return home in good health later this week. Mena found the joy for life again when he saw Esquilador; his mood is lifted, his appetite is back and he's begun taking steps with a walker. Soon, barring any complications, he'll be home with the horse who saved him.
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