Andy woken from a coma by teddy

When Andy Szasz, 65, developed pneumonia while being treated for bowel cancer the doctors at Southampton General needed to put him into a medically induced coma. The situation was very worrying.

Andy lying in a coma at Southampton General hospital
Teddy wakes Andy from his coma 3 days earlier than planned

But Andy and his dog Teddy are fighters! After a visit from Teddy, Andy miraculously awoke three days earlier than scheduled after hearing his faithful-friend barking. Amazingly, Andy was discharged less than a week later.

But the story doesn’t end there.

Andy and Teddy are now volunteers for Pets As Therapy. They work in several venues, including the same ICU (Intensive Care Unit) in Southampton General where Andy was treated. It seems Teddy is drawn to people who are suffering and often gravely ill.

“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,”

Andy getting back to health as a PAT Volunteer
All the incredible volunteers at Southampton General Hospital

Andy told us that Teddy has also been visiting people who have suffered a debilitating stroke and believes the therapeutic effects can sometimes be noticed immediately. He told us that both him and Teddy have found a new purpose and love volunteering for Pets As Therapy.

“I always tell people I rescued Ted and Ted rescued me. We certainly do have a special bond. Teddy barked and was then placed on my chest and soon after I woke up. He’s my guardian angel. I was so surprised to see Ted, I was made up. He’s my best mate.”

Andy is still recovering, but we know with the help of Teddy, he’s sure to do some amazing work.

We would love to hear your stories about your local PAT Volunteers – and we are always looking for new recruits to carry on the incredible work. If you are interested in volunteering for Pets As Therapy, please click here and fill out a short questionnaire.

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