Nurse adopts terminally ill patient’s dog after family sends pet to animal shelter

·2-min read
Nurse explains why she adopted terminally ill patient’s dog (WSB-TV)
Nurse explains why she adopted terminally ill patient’s dog (WSB-TV)

A nurse has opened up about her decision to adopt a terminally ill patient’s dog, with the healthcare provider revealing that both the elderly woman and her pet “changed her life”.

Kim Still, who works as a nurse at Northside Hospital Gwinnett in Georgia, told WSB-TV that she felt connected with the elderly patient as soon as she was assigned to her.

While caring for the woman, who was dying, Still said she learned that she had no children, nor did she have any family nearby. However, the patient told her that she did have a chihuahua named Jax.

“She didn’t have any kids. She didn’t have any family close by. So all she really had was this dog,” Still said.

When her patient eventually passed away, Still said the woman’s family flew in to handle the end-of-life arrangements, which included a decision about what to do with Jax.

According to Still, her patient’s family told her that they would be surrendering Jax to a local shelter, a decision that the nurse told the outlet concerned her, as she worried that “he was not going to be given a good chance, and possibly be put down if he didn’t get out of the shelter”.

Rather than allow the possibility, Still, who already had a dog of her own, decided to adopt Jax herself.

“I am never going to get rid of him. He is so sweet. He is one of the most loving dogs ever,” Still said, adding that the chihuahua and her other dog have since become best friends.

As for why she felt compelled to adopt Jax, Still, who has been a nurse for four years, spoke of the deep bond that she formed with her patient.

“I could have never guessed the connection that you develop with some people when you take care of them,” she said. “They just totally changed my life.”

Still, who has since been awarded a Daisy Award for extraordinary compassion by her hospital coworkers for her heartwarming gesture, also said that the pet is a reminder of why she does the job that she does.

“People need to feel heard, and they need to feel like someone cares about them,” she said.

The story has since resonated with people on social media as well, with many praising Still for her compassion and kindness.

“I’m so touched by this story. As a pet owner with no children or a lot of family, I’ve thought of this scenario. This patient is very lucky she met this nurse!” one person wrote, while another said: “How kind. We need to be reminded often of even the seemingly smallest of kind acts [and] that there are still decent human beings out there.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting