A Bittersweet Goodbye as a Rider Gets a Hospital Visit from His Horse

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Boogie visits Steven Ford in the Hospital
Photo via Kari Ann Cole/Bluefield Daily Telegraph Facebook

West Virginia horse owner Steven Ford knew his battle with cancer was coming to an end. He had been undergoing treatment at Roanoke Memorial Hospital, and according to the Bluefield Daily Telegraph, he wanted to spend his last days at home. Unfortunately, because he was on life support at the hospital, he wouldn’t be able to make the trip.

Wednesday, June 8 was Ford’s 39th birthday, and his friends and family wanted to make it as special as they could for him.

“The only way I could do it was to take home to him,” Amy Rose, a friend of Ford, told the Daily Telegraph. “We asked if there was any way they could take him outside and see Boogie.”

Boogie was Ford’s horse. Finding a way to get Ford out to see Boogie took some logistical planning, but after some discussion, hospital staff determined that it could be done. Rose went and asked Ford if he wanted to see Boogie.

“And he shook his head yes and was just crying and squeezing my hand the whole time,” said Rose. “He wanted me to bring him home and I just couldn’t, so I just took Boogie to him.”

Friends trailered Boogie to the hospital and adorned him with the balloons that had been brought to decorate Ford’s room. Hospital staff equipped the life support system with battery packs so that it could be used outside of the building.

“He loved every minute of it,” said Rose. “[Boogie] just fell right into Steven’s hands. He just stood there and let Steven pet him.”

Ford passed away the following day. He left Boogie to Rose.

According to the Daily Telegraph, plans for Ford’s funeral on Saturday included Boogie, who would be led in the funeral procession with an empty saddle as a tribute to his rider.

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