A little horse power was all this bed-ridden man needed to heal.
For the last four months, Francisco Mena has been bed-ridden at a hospital in Porto Alegre, Brazil, with little hope for improvement, but that all changed after a visit from his beloved horse, Esquilador.
Mena was admitted to the hospital for emergency treatment for a perforated intestine, but his recovery soon became more complicated than his doctors expected when he lost his appetite and became too weak to walk. Medication didn't seem to help him, and caught in this downward spiral, he became depressed.
But the doctors had another idea. In the past, they had allowed dogs to visit the hospital to help lift their owners' spirits. Esquilador was a bit bigger than a dog, but they thought a visit from the horse might be just what Mena needed.
So last week, on Mena's 65th birthday, a few of his friends transported Esquilador to the hospital, where nursing staff had Mena waiting for him outside.
One of Mena's physicians, Dr. Daniel Souto Silveira, noted that when Mena saw his horse, the change in him was immediate and significant. His mood lifted, his appetite returned, and he found the strength to start taking steps with his walker.
"It was surprising to me," Silveira said in an interview with the newspaper Zero Hora. "He transmitted love and the horse reciprocated, doing something the animal couldn't imagine: saving his life."
Mena has continued to improve since the visit, and his hospital stay is no longer indefinite. In fact, barring any unforeseen complications, he is expected to be discharged this week -- all thanks to the power of horses.
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h/t The Dodo
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