Every battle has front-liners who give the best, the hardest and risk their lives the most – true warriors who are fully aware of the dangers ahead, yet they walk in headfirst.
All over the world, medical professionals are the unsung heroes in the battle against the recent coronavirus outbreak. In some countries such as Italy and Iran, doctors are working round-the-clock with very little breaks in-between to keep provide supportive and intensive care to their patients. Many medical workers have been exposed to the virus and a few have lost their lives as a result. Just a few days ago, 52 medical specialists from Cuba flew into Italy, the worst affected area outside of Asia to lend a hand to the exhausted doctors and relieve some of those who can no longer continue .
Right now, we are praising our heroes that wear white coats, scrubs and paramedic suits, and rightfully so.
But no matter how strong we are, we all need somebody to lean on – or a sweet canine who would cradle your heart. A service dog at the Rose Medical Center in Denver is contributing in her own way by bringing comfort to the worn-out medical staff working endlessly in the ER, as reported by CNN . One-year-old Wynn is a Labrador being trained by Susan Ryan, a doctor at the hospital. Wynn is part of Canine Companions for Independence, a non-profit that provides service dogs to people with disabilities free-of-charge.
A viral photo posted on Facebook shows Dr. Ryan sitting on the floor of the ER with Wynn, petting the lovely pooch while taking a much-needed breather. Ryan had just concluded with a patient in distress and was still in her face mask and helmet after washing up. Then she spotted Wynn roaming the floors.
“I saw Wynn coming back in from being walked outside,” Ryan told CNN. “I just slumped down on the floor and said ‘can I just have a minute with her’?'”
Ryan spoke about how much Wynn helps them deal with the psychological hazards of the job. “Seeing stuff and hearing stuff that you can’t unsee has an impact on you,” Ryan said. “That’s where the dogs come in. When you are in the presence of the dog and petting them you are taking a moment to ground yourself at that present time.”
“The brightest part of our day”
Since Wynn will remain under training with Ryan for the next 6 to 10 months, she’s happy to serve the people who need her the most right now. Wynn now spends most of her time in the medical workers’ staff rooms, comforting them while they recuperate under dim lights, soft music, and refreshments.
“It’s been the brightest part of our day,” Ryan said.
Before anyone makes it to the recreational space, they have to wash up thoroughly of course, so Wynn is always safe.
Dr. Ryan is seeking global cooperation in the battle. In her own words, “We’re all in this together.” Maintaining social distancing protocols and frequently washing hands with soap and water would help reduce the number of patients swarming into the ER daily. The workload is unbearable but according to her, “We took an oath. We will stand up and show up.”
Dr. Ryan is thankful for the positive outlook people are choosing to wear in these dark times. She spoke about the videos she saw online and the heartwarming appreciation going out to medical workers and all front-liners.
“We can be connected by kindness, love and four paws.”
- Sylvia Poggioli. For Help On Coronavirus, Italy Turns To China, Russia, And Cuba. NPR. https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/03/25/821345465/for-help-on-coronavirus-italy-turns-to-china-russia-and-cuba. Retrieved 26-03-2020
- Amanda Jackson. A therapy dog brings comfort to ER doctors on the frontlines. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/26/health/therapy-dog-er-doctor-trnd-wellness/index.html?utm_term=link&utm_content=2020-03-26T08%3A31%3A03&utm_source=fbCNN&utm_medium=social. Retrieved 26-03-2020
- Dr. Jockers. Coronavirus: Symptoms, Prevention & Natural Options. The Hearty Soul. https://theheartysoul.com/coronavirus-symptoms-prevention-natural-options/. Retrieved 26-03-2020
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