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Four-legged healers welcome at Wolfson Children's Hospital

5:57 PM, May 31, 2013   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It may not be traditional medicine, but little Ginger is at Wolfson Children's Hospital to bring a smile to a very special patient -- her owner Vanessa Blond, who suffers from cystic fibrosis.

Ginger is the first dog to be a part of the Healing Paws program at Wolfson. It is believed to be the first in the country at a Children's Hospital that allows a patient's pet, not just a therapy dog, to come to the hospital and visit.

And the moment Vanessa has been waiting for: seeing Ginger.

"There is a lot of evidence that visiting with an animal helps improve overall well being as well as shortening the duration of stay and making the children's overall attitude more conducive to rapid healing," said Jerry Bridgham, Chief Medical Officer for Wolfson.

Once Vanessa sees Ginger and her grandmother, her spirits are lifted.

"I can't get enough of her!" Vanessa said.

And little Ginger couldn't get enough of seeing Vanessa either, covering her in kisses and bringing a smile to doctors and staff alike.

"I have been feeling much better since I was told I could see Ginger and I have just been working to get better so I can go home and see her too," Vanessa said.

Sometimes, the best medicine is the love that leaves a paw-print on your heart.

First Coast News

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