On April 6th, five month old Nora Hall suffered a stroke that affected both sides of her brain. Although she survived the initial trauma of the stroke, the prognosis was not good. Nora’s parents were devastated. Her mother, Mary Hall, said on Facebook that their “world was shattered.” They weren’t the only ones. In addition to all of the humans whose hearts broke with the news of Nora’s stroke, Mary and her husband John’s two eight year old Basset Hounds became inconsolable.
To help ease everyone’s heartbreak, Minneapolis’ Children’s Hospital allowed the family’s dogs to visit their tiny human during the last few days of her life. Once they were with her, they refused to leave. Their presence offered support to Nora and to her family. And I’m certain that being close to the little girl they loved, offered these dedicated dogs comfort, as well.
Doctors discovered that Nora had pulmonary hypertension, a rare disease with a high mortality rate. Last Thursday, her MRI revealed that her brain was not receiving oxygen and that it had shrunk to half of the size it was at the time of her previous MRI.
On Friday, Mary wrote this on Facebook:
We were told that the Nora lying here with us today is not the Nora that we brought in to the hospital. Her stroke has already taken away our sweet girl who is able to giggle and smile at us. The reason why she has not been able to have her breathing tube taken out is because breathing is a neurological function. Her brain is so injured that it cannot even tell her body how to breathe anymore.
Yesterday, doctors removed Nora’s breathing tube, allowing her “to go peacefully and on her own terms.”
Earlier, Mary shared her story with the Facebook group the Wonderful World Of Basset Hounds, asking if she should remove them from the room:
…in case they get more stressed seeing everyone upset, or if I should let them stay in the room for when she passes, so they aren’t left wondering where she is when we go home.
In the end, the dogs stayed by their best friend’s side, comforting her and her parents during the most difficult moment of their lives.
There is a GoFundMe account to help with the costs of Nora’s medical expenses, which, as you can imagine, are immense.
Everyone at Bark & Co. sends their love to Mary, John, their two dogs and all who loved Nora. We wish them peace in this difficult time.