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Beautiful Moment’: Dying Patient’s Goodbye to Horse

Cancer patient Sheila Marsh is nuzzled by her horse Bronwen outside Wigan Royal Infirmary in northwestern England.
Cancer patient Sheila Marsh is nuzzled by her horse Bronwen outside Wigan Royal Infirmary in northwestern England. Andrew Foster / Wigan Royal Infirmary

A dying hospital patient in northern England had her final wish come true when she got to see her favorite horse for one last time. Managers arranged for Sheila Marsh, 77, to see the horse, called, Bronwen, outside the hospital hours before she passed away from cancer. “I was crying my eyes out and all the nurses were crying too. She took comfort out of it and it was a beautiful moment,” her daughter, Tina Marsh, told the Manchester Evening News.

Marsh, from Wigan, Lancashire, had a life-long affiliation with horses - including working at a local racecourse- and had kept Bronwen for 25 years. She died in the early hours of Tuesday, hours after the image was taken. “This was obviously extremely important to her and her family and we feel privileged to have been able to provide this support at this crucial stage of her care,” said Pauline Law, director of nursing at Wigan Royal Infirmary. The photograph was taken by the hospital’s chief executive, Andrew Foster, and released with the family’s permission.

- Alastair Jamieson