Tag: kevin mcclain
That was in early May, and McClain was temporarily living in his car in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with his eight-year-old sheltie/collie mix named Yurt.
A few days after sending paramedics away, McClain slipped into unconsciousness and the ambulance crew returned.
McClain was taken to Mercy Medical Center, and later transferred to the Dennis & Donna Oldorf Hospice House of Mercy to receive end-of-life care. His dog was taken to Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control.
As he was being taken to his room at the hospice, McClain told the paramedic accompanying him, Jan Erceg, that he was concerned about his dog, Yurt. Erceg, who also volunteers at Cedar Rapids Animal Care and Control, recognized the name.
“I told Kevin I knew his dog,” she told Eastern Iowa Health. ” I told him she was doing OK and I promised to bring Yurt to see him.”
Two days later the reunion took place in McClain’s room at the hospice.
“This dog, from the moment she got in the vehicle to the time we arrived, she was shrieking and howling. I think she sensed what was happening,” Erceg said. “When we got to the Hospice House she walked right through the doors and led us straight to his room as if she’d been there many times before.”
Yurt immediately jumped on McClain’s bed.
“Kevin was unconscious but I kept putting his hands on the dog’s head and guiding him to stroke her,” she said. Then Kevin started moving his fingers on his own, petting Yurt, who licked his face and neck and arms. Kevin’s eyes opened.
Two days later, on Friday, May 13, McClain died.
Yurt spent another month in foster care before getting adopted.
At the hospice, they still talk about her, and the reunion between a man and his dog.
“It was just an awesome thing to see, something that made both Kevin and Yurt so happy,” says Brandi Garrett, patient care coordinator at the hospice. “It was obvious they had such a special connection to one another.”
(Photos: Eastern Iowa Health)
Posted by jwoestendiek July 13th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: ambulance, animals, bond, car, cedar rapids, cedar rapis animal care and control, collie, connection, dog, dogs, emotional, end of life, health, homeless, hospice, hospital, iowa, jan erceg, kevin mcclain, lung cancer, mercy medical center, mixed breed, oldorf hospice house of Mercy, paramedics, pets, reunion, separation, sheltie, yurt