That was the impact of a recent visit from Mischa the cat to our patient Steve.

Like so many of us, Steve adores animals, particularly cats, and when our nurses heard how much, they acted.

“I grew up in a house full of animals, but I have a special place in my heart for cats,” said Steve.

“It’s only the last few years that I’ve not had my own.

“It meant everything to me when the nurses arranged for Mischa to visit.

“She looked into my eyes and for a second, we just connected in the most wonderful way.

“My whole life, if I saw a cat in trouble, I would help it. And it was like she was saying thank you to me.

“I am so grateful to the staff – they are really special and you couldn’t want for better care and comfort.”

Simply petting an animal can lower blood pressure, relieve physical pain and release calming endorphins and Mischa was not the only furry friend to bring joy, comfort and companionship to patients at Mountbatten recently.

A collaboration between the Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary and Mountbatten meant Smudgie the donkey could visit the hospice.

“It was a very uplifting experience, and the patients and staff enjoyed making a fuss over Smudgie,” said Tiffany Harvey, Community Engagement Leader at Isle of Wight Donkey Sanctuary.

“Smudgie took it all in her stride and enjoyed the attention.

“The Mountbatten staff were very helpful and nothing was too much effort, even rearranging one of the rooms so one gentleman could see Smudgie.”

Your generosity means we can make special moments like this happen as well as provide the expert care and support people need as they come to the end of their life. Thank you.

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