Every day, nurses strive to ensure their patients’ welfare, however, some go the extra mile to keep their patient’s mental health stable much like registered nurse Jennifer Smith who rescued her patients’ dog.

“With loyalty, I will endeavour to aid the physician in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care” a Florence Nightingale quote these nurses swear by.

It was November 2021 when Smith received a frantic call from one of her patients called John Burley at the adult day health care program at Rome, New York’s Grand Rehabilitation and Nursing Center. 

He has been admitted to hospital with pneumonia and had no family nearby to look after Boomer, his beloved dog which had to be taken to an animal shelter. 

In an interview with CNN Smith said: “I came into work the Monday after Thanksgiving to the phone ringing at 7 a.m, John was calling from his hospital room saying, ‘Boomer is in the pound! Boomer is in the pound!’”

She knew this 12-year-old dog John has cared for since he was a puppy meant the absolute world to him after John asked her to look after him she instantly replied “of course, I will”.

She immediately tracked him down finding him at the Rome Humane Society and the following day she drove to the shelter and began the adoption process and let John know Boomer was well and coming home soon.

She was given the all-clear to bring Boomer to work with her and she said that knowing his much-loved dog was safe and that they’d still be able to see each other made a massive impact on Burley’s recovery.

Smith would bring Boomer to see Burley multiple times a day and he soon became a favourite amongst the patients and staff. 

Speaking with CNN, she said “There are just so many worries in the world right now. If I can take one worry away from John, that’s the least I can do,”

“I can’t cure diseases. I’m not a miracle worker [but] I made a promise to John to take care of Boomer. I will take care of him as long as he needs me to. John knows that. Right now the focus is on John getting better and taking it one day at a time.”

Due to his illness, he has developed speech issues so it can be difficult to express himself but there is one statement he did say loud and clear; “I love Jennifer,”

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