A terminally-ill pensioner had her final wish granted by caring hospice workers – to see her beloved horse and pet dogs one more time.
Jan Holman, 68, was given the chance to say goodbye to King Charles spaniels Monty and Rowley as well as her horse Bob at the hospice where she now stays.
She has been at the Hospice of the Good Shepherd, in Backford, Cheshire, for the last two weeks following a six week stay in hospital.
Heartbreaking photos show the horse gently nuzzling his owner while Jan lies in her hospital bed as well as her tenderly gripping the paw of one of her pet pooches.
Following the emotional reunion, Jan said she never imagined it would be possible for her precious animals to pay her a visit.
Former tour guide Jan, of Chester, said: “I just can’t believe what the staff here at the hospice have done for me.
“Until a few weeks ago I was still riding Bob every day and he is such an important part of my life, and I have missed him so much.
“I knew that arranging for my dogs to visit was possible as we had a neighbour who was a patient at the hospice a few years ago and we were allowed to bring the dogs to visit her.
“But I just didn’t expect that they would ever be able to give me the chance to see Bob one more time.”
Hospice staff went the extra mile to ensure Jan was reunited with her animal companions with help from the stables where Bob is in livery.
The nurses wheeled her bed to the patio doors while stable staff walked the 15.2 piebald Cob to the hospice courtyard.
Bob put his head through the doors and nuzzled Jan’s neck and lap while enjoying his treats of carrots, bananas and apples.
Jan’s husband of 46 years, Dennis, said: “It was just such a relief once Jan was moved from the hospital to the hospice in Chester and we were able to have named visitors who could come and see Jan regularly.
“However we never imagined that we would be able to include our dogs Monty and Rowley and Jan’s horse Bob on the visiting list.
“The hospice is such a vital part of our community and we have had friends and neighbours who have needed to use the services and we have always felt it was important to support the hospice, but we never imagined we would need the services ourselves.
“All the staff here have been wonderful.
“Jan has been so well cared for, nothing is too much trouble even down to the chef coming every day to see what he can tempt Jan to eat.
“Nothing is too much trouble, including arranging for a horse to visit.”
Before her illness Jan could be seen dressed as Chester’s Tudor Lady delivering tours of the city where she has been a tour guide for 37 years.
Jan is the recognised Chester expert on the Tudor period of the city and has appeared on radio and television with author and broadcaster Adam Hart-Davis.
Both Jan and Dennis have had a long relationship with the hospice actively supporting them by undertaking sponsored walks and fundraising events
Louise Saville King, deputy ward manager at the hospice, said: “It was obvious when Jan first came to us that she is passionate about her animals and that horses have played a large part in her life for many years.
“We felt it was really important to try and arrange for Bob to visit Jan.
“The ethos of hospice care is not just about caring for the clinical needs of our patients but also looking after their emotional and spiritual needs as well.
“It’s about making a difference to our patients and their families in whatever way we can.
“We know that sometimes people are scared at the thought of coming to the hospice, but it’s a positive place where people are supported and well cared for.
“The work of the hospice really does make a difference to people’s lives.”