Hospital staff arrange for patient to get an extra special visitor

A patient in the intensive care ward at Hammersmith Hospital received an extra special visitor last week when hospital staff and his wife arranged a visit from his beloved horse

George Luff, 71, and “The Footsy”, 23, have competed in dressage together for many years, but hadn’t seen each other since George was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital in August. He was then transferred to Hammersmith Hospital in October.

Hospital teams were able to get Footsy on site in his horse trailer and parked close by so George, accompanied by his clinical team, wasn’t too far from the intensive care ward. Footsy travelled 37 miles from Hertfordshire to the hospital with Corby, a 16-year-old horse that George’s wife and daughter ride, to help keep him calm during the journey and visit.

Speaking after being reunited with Footsy, George said: “That was brilliant – I haven’t seen my horse since I was admitted to hospital during the summer and I’m so happy.”

Cliona Long, team lead respiratory physiotherapist, said: “We know just how tough it can be for our patients when having to spend a long time recovering in hospital away from their home and loved ones. I’m so pleased we were able to do this for George and hope it will help the rest of his stay in hospital.”

George’s wife, Jillie, thanked staff for helping to organise the visit. Jillie said: “George has been so much perkier, brighter and alert since he heard his horse was coming to visit him. It’s been fantastic.”