Hospital welcomes moggy to fulfil patient’s final wish

Gladys Wray with Patch

Gladys Wray with Patch - Credit: Archant

A feline visitor was welcomed into Queen’s Hospital for the first time last month to fulfil the wish of a dying patient.

It was feared cat lover Gladys Wray would not see her beloved moggy, Patch, again after her condition became too serious to return home.

But staff at the hospital in Rom Valley Way, Romford, leapt into action to make sure the 66-year-old, who was suffering from lung cancer, could say goodbye to her ginger and white moggy.

Gladys’ husband, David, said: “It was a beautiful moment. I put her hand on Patch to stroke him and everyone in the room heard her breathing change, she knew he was there.

“She loved animals – we have another cat Honey and a dog Roxy – but cats were her favourite, she adored them. It was a big surprise that we could take him to see her, everyone on the ward was fantastic.”

Ward clerk Leigh Kaniklides and palliative care occupational therapist, Ursula Abbott, made the arrangements for Patch to visit the hospital, which is run by Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Leigh said: “When I heard the family talking about her last wish to see her cat I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

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“I have cats and I know I’d want to see them. It was really emotional and she died about an hour after she saw Patch.”

Mandarin A ward, where Gladys stayed, was given a Star of the Month award after it receiving several nominations.