Dog woke owner from coma after barking during one-off visit to hospital

February 11, 2019  18:25

A dog has been hailed a hero after his barking woke his owner up from a coma. Schnauzer poodle cross, Teddy, 5, was granted special permission by staff at Southampton General Hospital to visit owner Andy Szasz. The 65-year-old was rushed to intensive care after suffering from pneumonia following a battle with bowel cancer.

But doctors were left amazed after the dog managed to wake civil engineer Andy, from Southampton, up from a medically-induced coma. He opened his eyes three days before doctors planned an attempt to bring him round.

Gobsmacked by his impact on the patient, medics then allowed Teddy to make regular visits to hospital to aid Andy’s recovery over the next four days before the married dad-of-four was discharged less than a week later. Now hero Teddy, who lives with owners Andy and wife Estelle, 52, after being rehomed from their local RPSCA shelter in Fareham, Hampshire, is changing the lives of others as a hospital therapy dog and has scooped a top animal prize. Andy, who was awoken from his coma in 2016, said: ‘Ted is such a remarkable little dog in many ways. ‘He’s clever, loving, loyal, funny and a right little character – he really stole my heart when we first met. ‘I always tell people I rescued Ted and Ted rescued me. We certainly do have a special bond.’

Teddy has since scooped the RSPCA’s special animal award at their annual honours event held at The Royal Society, London in 2017. The family pet is now changing more lives in his role as a therapy dog – visiting people in hospital, hospices, care homes and schools up and down the nation.

Andy said: ‘Teddy was inducted as a therapy dog in November so we had our first hospital visit just before Christmas. ‘It was amazing to see the smiles on so many peoples’ faces when he came into the hospital. ‘Not only the patients, but the nurses, the doctors and visitors alike.

‘I’m so proud of my little boy. It was my wish to make Ted a PAT (Pets As Therapy) dog to repay the wonderful work the charity at Southampton General Hospital does in cheering up patients and the fantastic hospital staff. ‘And Teddy just loves all the cuddles he gets – it’s amazing how animals affect our lives.’


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