Huntington’s disease is an incurable, hereditary disorder of the central nervous system. We were asked to provide an animal encounter for the residents of this specialist unit this afternoon – it was one of the most rewarding, and humbling, encounters we have ever provided. One of the symptoms of this disease is very jerky limb movements, so we took the animals and birds that we thought would be most tolerant.The reactions from the residents were utterly priceless – although many were unable to talk, the huge smiles, and thumbs up from one particular bed ridden
The reactions from the residents were utterly priceless – although many were unable to talk, the huge smiles, and thumbs up from one particular bed ridden gentleman, spoke volumes! The animals reacted in ways that were quite remarkable – Bracket the baby Barn owl insisted in sitting on everyone’s shoulder and snuggling into their necks (covering them all in downy fluff in the process!). Dylan the rabbit never moved once placed on a lap. Boris the Boa sat quietly around necks and on beds and Myrtle the hedgehog didn’t seem to mind the slightly stronger stroking and kept her prickles nice and flat! Dear Fletch, the young Wood owl, was happy to be endlessly patted and petted, and Buddy the corn snake amused one dear lady by disappearing under her cushion, curling up and falling asleep whilst she giggled with delight!
Kernow House is a wonderful place, with welcoming and friendly staff, and the residents, despite their illness, were full of fun and uncomplaining. It was an absolute privilege for Talons to be able to provide these amazing people with so much joy, if only for a short time.