Horse News

Feel Good Sunday: Hospice Patient Gets One Last Day at the Barn

By Leslie Potter as published on The Horse Channel

“Tissue Alert!” ~ R.T.

An 87-year-old lifelong horse lover has her wish to spend time with horses granted.

Click Image to View Video

Click Image to View Video

If you knew your time on earth was nearing its end, where would you want to spend your days? For most horse lovers, the answer is clear: at the barn. Phyllis Ryerson is no exception.

Ryerson, now 87, lived on a farm with her husband earlier in her life. She’s loved horses ever since she was young. Fox 17 in West Michigan reports that she has been diagnosed with stage four esophageal cancer, and she’s making the most of her days with help from Emmanuel Hospice.

When Ryerson told hospice workers that she wanted to pet a horse, they brought her to Equine Assisted Development of the Great Lakes where she had the chance to pet and groom the horses in the barn and feed them treats.

A true horsewoman, Ryerson rubbed a horse named George with her coat so that she could bring home the smell of horses with her, according to a Facebook post from EADGL. In another post, Emmanuel Hospice says she joked that she’d be bringing the barn smell home, and that her husband wouldn’t like it. For horse lovers, some things never change.

Ryerson reportedly smiled throughout her afternoon with the horses and kept a positive mindset, telling Fox 17, “It’s a very comforting thing to know that I’m at the end of a long and wonderful life.”

6 replies »

  1. Very (oops – pun alert) touching story – thank you. The old saying seems appropriate; the outside of a horse is good for the inside of a person.


  2. What an heartfelt story! I used to work in a Nursing Home in the Activities Dept. There was a woman there who had a “Memory Box” put together by her family. The Special Wooden Box contained special fragrances that this special woman could relate to even though her memory had faded… A baggie filled with shavings, a baggie filled with sweet hay, a baggie filled with mane & tail hair, with the special smells & also a miniscule bag with old fecal balls.(only horse people can relate to this). This made the elderly woman smile & inhale of the special aromas of her life (related to horses that she loved).. She died two days later, but the memory box with all of the special scents that she loved, made her inhale deeply and pass on to the next world with a huge smile on her face, while she was in her own special world of precious memories. Many joyful tears for her!.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. They know and they understand…the bond is so strong

    Horse brought to hospital to say goodbye to its dying owner

    Moving photograph shows final goodbye between Sheila Marsh and horse Bronwen outside Wigan Royal Infirmary

    A dying grandmother was granted a final wish of seeing her favourite horse one last time – after the animal was brought to visit her in her hospital bed.

    Sheila Marsh, a 77-year-old grandmother-of-four, passed away from cancer just hours after the horse, named Bronwen, was brought to see her at Wigan Royal Infirmary.

    Mrs Marsh, who had raised the horse over 25 years since it was a foal, was wheeled outside the hospital for the meeting.

    Their last encounter was captured in a moving photograph that shows the horse nuzzling up against her.


Care to make a comment?

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.