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Therapy Dog Adds to Successful Treatment and Care


The Story of Bradley

Bradley is the consummate miracle boy. First came a near fatal brush with the H1N1 virus - an episode that his father emotionally recalls. He remembers racing down the rural back roads of South Carolina en route to a hospital in Charleston, his son in the ambulance ahead and his doctors fighting to diagnose and save him. He also remembers the five months that Bradley spent in that hospital recovering and the life changes and challenges he faced upon returning home.

Confined to a wheelchair, Bradley would need to literally learn to walk again. His immune system, taxed by the virus, was fragile, and his energy levels were extremely low. He tired easily. Perhaps most important, his spirits needed lifting.

When it comes to pediatric care, the little things are what count; going beyond the expected can make all the difference. Bradley’s home care team from Interim HealthCare in South Carolina not only provided physical therapy and in-home care; they brought Yates, a specially-trained service dog, to help with Bradley’s treatment.

Service dogs like Yates instantly brighten the mood of any room they enter.  It’s impossible not to smile when a yellow lab is wagging his tail at you. And nothing mixes like kids and dogs. Initially a little hesitant - not surprising, given the trauma of the previous year - Bradley nonetheless quickly warmed to Yates. And Yates brought his special brand of caring to every visit with Bradley.

More than just a mood brightener, Yates actually played an active role in Bradley’s recovery. Yates helped motivate Bradley to participate in his physical therapy, which now included standing, using his walker and kicking a tennis ball to the dog. Movement, coordination, activity, and laughter all combined to help Bradley get back to the fun loving mischievous teen that he is.

Bradley’s parents are with him every step of the way. Bradley’s father has painstakingly modified their home to accommodate the necessary medical equipment, installing wheelchair ramps, and relocating his son’s bedroom to a more central part of the home. All of this, along with the in home care plan from Interim HealthCare, has been designed to make the recovery process as positive, comfortable and efficient as possible.

Bradley has made great progress since his release from the hospital, thanks to his team from Interim.  Today, his parents brim with pride from across the room as they watch him lift himself out of his wheelchair and pat Yates’s head. He is indeed their own personal miracle.

 

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