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Dog who helped owner wake up from coma becomes hospital therapy pet

A little RSPCA rescue dog who had such a close bond with his adopter that he helped wake him from a coma has qualified as a Pets As Therapy dog so he can help more people.

Five-year-old Teddy amazed staff at Southampton General Hospital when he woke his owner Andy Szasz from a medically-induced coma in 2016.

Civil engineer Andy, from Southampton, had been admitted to intensive care with pneumonia having overcome bowel cancer. He was placed into a medically induced coma and wife, Estelle, sought special permission from the staff to allow her to bring in his beloved pet for a visit. She believes his barking encouraged Andy to wake three days earlier than expected.

Andy said: “Ted is such a remarkable little dog in many ways. He’s clever, loving, loyal, funny and a right little character! He really stole my heart when we first met.”

The story saw Teddy scoop the RSPCA’s special animal award in 2017.

And now, Teddy will be able to help other patients at the hospital that saved his owner’s life — as he’s enrolled as an official therapy dog with the charity Pets As Therapy. PAT provides a visit service to hospitals, hospices, care homes and schools across the country.

Andy said: “We had our interview at the hospital and were inducted in November so we had our first visit just before Christmas. It was amazing to see the smiles on so many peoples’ faces. Not only the patients, but the nurses, the doctors and visitors alike.”

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