Therapy horse brings much needed smiles to Jacksonville

Therapy horse brings joy to young patients

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Going to the doctor for any child can be scary. But, for kids who are constantly in and out of the clinic, it can be very taxing and stressful. That's where Gypsy the three-year-old therapy horse comes in. She's making visits to help put smiles back on children's faces.
 
Amelia Brome has traveled more than 4,000 miles from home to come to Nemours Children's Specialty Care for proton therapy. 
 
"They're building it in Manchester, close to where we live. But, we don't actually have it yet. By the time we do have it, I won't be able to have it because it'll be too late," said Brome.
 
That's a tough reality for a 10 year old girl. But then she saw Gypsy. 
 
"I was really excited because it's a horse!" said Brome. 
 
Some patients can't verbally express their excitement like Dequavion Brim who has cerebral palsy. He doesn't need to use words.  You can see his it on his face. 
 
"That's how he expresses himself. His face lighting up, or using his hands. He's in and out of the hospital a lot. And, this is something that I think is really good for the kids," said Dequavion's grandmother Evelyn Warren.
 
Gypsy's owner, Jenny Pfieffer, is a nurse at Nemours. She started doing pet assisted therapy with her great dane and then decided to go into equine therapy. 
 
"Some people may have never seen a horse in real life. Sometimes they may be very upset or stressed out coming to clinic. Then, when they see a therapy dog or therapy horse, It just brings that smile that they may never ever have. It's worth it so much," said Pfieffer. 
 
"It makes me happy, and makes me forget horrible stuff like this," said Amelia. 
 
Gypsy will be back to Nemours twice a month. 

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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