User uShare Login | Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.

68° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options



Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started. | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!


Pets Give Patients A Boost

December 15, 2009, 8:57 AM by Courtney Zieller

Pets Give Patients A Boost
Having a pet has its benefits: companionship, trust and security. And when someone's sick and in a hospital, they can also have a positive role in the healing process.

Six-year-old Danny Hansen's getting a special visit from a four-legged friend.

"You shake paws. You shake paws," Hansen said.

But this isn't the first time Danny's met Disney.

"It's his second. He was here last Thursday for the first time," mom Cyndi Hansen said.

And Danny's been anticipating another visit ever since.

"Danny really enjoys animals so he looks forward to this every Thursday when they come in," Cyndi said.

Going through his second round of chemotherapy treatments, the visits help lift spirits.

"It brightens up the day when he's having a bad day or a bad week," Hansen said.

Diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Lukemia, Danny's battling a rare type of cancer that's more common in adults than in children. He had to start treatments immediately but programs like this help the family focus on the better things in life.

"It brings happiness to a place that has such sadness in it with little kids having to go through life-threatening diseases," Cyndi said.

Pet therapy started at the Children's Hospital just one month ago. Three dogs and their handlers come once a week going from room to room visiting sick kids.

"Especially for some of the children here for long periods of time. Some of them come from homes where they live on the farm and are used to being around animals," Director of Pediatrics Connie Schmidt said.

But it's not new to Sanford. The program began at the Medical Center and has now made its way to the new Children's Hospital. Schmidt says it's a way for kids and parents to stay positive.

"It's a distraction. A modality to think about something different to connect with an animal similar to their pet at home so familiarizing their environment even though it's for a brief time," Schmidt said.

"It makes me feel happy just to see a smile on his face and it looks like the dog enjoys it," Cyndi said.

And with wagging tails, Danny isn't the only happy one in the room.

Once Danny finishes chemo, his mom says he'll need a bone marrow transplant. As for the dogs, they are all professionally trained to deal with different situations.

Previous Story

Next Story



You may also like

16-Year-Old Teen Found Dead On Interstate 90

10/2/2015 10:48 AM

Authorities did not identify the victim, but described him as a 16 year old from Minnehaha County.

Full Story
Body On I-90 Identified

10/2/2015 4:02 PM

The teenager found dead on Interstate 90 has been identified as an O'Gorman High School student.

Full Story
Body Found Dead On I-90

10/1/2015 11:38 PM

At 10:45 p.m. Thursday, deputies found a body at Interstate 90 and North Kiwanis Avenue, near the Interstate 29 interchange.

Full Story
Shooting Suspect Faces Felony Charges

10/1/2015 10:43 AM

Mason T. Buhl, of Sioux Falls, faces first-degree attempted murder and commission of a felony while armed with a firearm.  He will be charged as ...

Full Story
Helicopter Crash Near Parkston Under Investigation

10/5/2015 11:25 AM

Emergency crews responded to a helicopter crash near Parkston Monday morning. 

Full Story