Kayden — Therapy

Location: Stow, Ohio

Love is the superpower that Kayden brings to his work as a therapy dog for the Doggie Brigade at Akron Children’s Hospital (ACH). Whether distracting a child that is about to receive an IV, comforting a little one prior to surgery, or working with Flashes-of-Hope to get a child with terminal cancer to cooperate with the photographer to get the photo that mom desperately wants, Kayden takes his job seriously. Even during the COVID-19 shut-down, we provided remote visits for children whose illnesses did not retreat even though the world was in crisis.

One memorable visit occurred when we visited with a bed-ridden teen in the hospital’s courtyard. Her situation seemed bleak. Her only movement occurred during seizures and she appeared to lack any way to communicate. Kayden snuggled next to her in bed for a few moments, then we moved on. Two months later we entered the elevator at ACH with a teen and her mom. The girl exclaimed, “that’s the dog!” I did not recognize her and had forgotten the event in the courtyard- it was one visit of many. When her mom showed me the picture on her phone from that day, I remembered. The recovery this child had made was remarkable. While the doctors and nurses at ACH deserve the credit- I like to think that my little hero dog Kayden played a role in restoring her spirit.

Even when the world shut down and loneliness and isolation threatened to prevail, Kayden had a message to share, LOVE can’t be quarantined.

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