Patient 'over the moon' as beloved dog pays her a surprise visit in Falmouth hospital

131022 Falmouth dog reunion NHS Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly
Charlie visited Janet at Falmouth Community Hospital Credit: NHS Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly

A patient at Falmouth Community Hospital had a heart-warming reunion with her beloved dog who visited her on the ward.

Janet Van De Voorde was admitted into the community hospital after a fall. Due to her lengthy stay, she had to give her 13-year-old dog Charlie away.

He first stayed at Rosevean Vets in Penzance for a month but was then put into the care of the Last Chance Hotel and found his foster mum, Ann Tew.

The Last Chance Hotel rescues animals and relies on a network of dedicated foster homes to provide a good home environment and rehabilitation.

Ms Tew said: "I stepped forward to foster Charlie after he caught my eye on an online advert. I was amazed at the likeness of Charlie to my beloved dog, also named Charlie, who passed away three years ago.

"I immediately contacted the First Chance Hotel and started the process to foster him. Fostering Charlie felt like it was meant to be.

“Once Charlie had built up his trust with me, I contacted Falmouth Community Hospital and spoke to April Quelch, the ward clerk, to see if it would be ok to arrange for Charlie to visit Janet.

"I couldn’t imagine the turmoil and worry Janet must be feeling at having to separate from her dog."

Charlie was so happy to see Janet and remembered her straight away. Credit: NHS Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly

April Quelch then spoke to Janet and she 'jumped at the chance' but was also worried Charlie might not recognise her after a month.

April said: "Charlie is Janet’s life. Unfortunately, Janet has no other family, so Charlie really was a true companion for her.

"Charlie was so happy to see Janet and remembered her straight away. The visit from Charlie really boosted her spirits.

"He sat with her, had cuddles, and enjoyed lots of treats. We already have plans in place for another visit from him soon.”

Janet reflected on the visit, saying: "I’m so very pleased and happy that Charlie has been fostered into such a lovely home and that I still get to play a big part in his life.

"I’ve had him since he was one year old. I re-homed him when his previous owner became unwell and couldn’t look after him.

"I’ve had him for 12 years and although I miss him terribly, I’m so happy that he can come and visit me on the ward and that Ann has offered to keep visiting me when I am eventually discharged.”