Meet Bernard, a patient at St Bartholomew’s Hospital who found himself in a battle not just with illness but with a waning spirit. His health condition had taken a toll on his emotional well-being. Little did he know that our compassionate staff and a visit from a furry friend would become his lifeline during this challenging time.
Bernard's caring team had learned that his greatest source of joy was his beloved dog, Luna, whom he had been separated from since his hospital admission. Bernard's experience took a heartwarming turn when David Buttery, clinical site manager at St Bartholomew's Hospital, intervened, going above and beyond to make sure the reunion became a reality.
Bernard's partner, Helen, shared her thoughts on Luna's visit:
My partner Bernard has been a patient at St Bartholomew’s Hospital since early May and had been on a ventilator for over a month at the time of Luna’s visit and his mood was low. The staff suggested that a visit by Luna might help lift his spirits and distract him. Bernard could be wheeled into The Square, but the visit would be short as Bernard could only be outside for 30 minutes or so.'
The ICU team, including medical, nursing and therapies staff took extraordinary measures to ensure that Luna could visit the ward when it was time for Bernard to return indoors. This thoughtful gesture allowed them to spend more quality time together.
Helen recalled the moment vividly, saying:
His face lit up when he saw her – it was a special moment! Bernard’s spirits were certainly lifted and I feel that being able to pet her was very therapeutic.
David Buttery's exceptional efforts did not go unnoticed, and he was rightfully nominated for a Barts Health Heroes award.
Without David, this simply would not have happened.
As we approach the end of our nomination year on 30 September, we want to share this remarkable story as a reminder of the incredible dedication and compassion displayed by our staff.
To nominate your Barts Health Heroes, please visit our page and help us recognise and celebrate exceptional individuals and teams who make a difference.