Dying cancer patient’s last wish to see his horse one more time was granted when the animal was brought to hospital

A cancer patient who devoted his life to breeding horses had his last wish granted when his favourite animal was brought to his hospital bedside four days before he died.

Frank Keat, 80, wanted to visit the stables where he worked for 65 years one final time, but was too frail to leave Bodmin Community Hospital where he was being treated for cancer.

Instead, nurses arranged for his relatives to bring his five-year-old horse Early Morn to the hospital, and then took Mr Keat out to the patio for a reunion on Friday.

The equestrian died early yesterday morning – but his family said they were comforted by the thought that he had been able to spend time with the horse, which he had bred since 2010.

Nurses set up the encounter after Mr Keat had entertained them by talking about his career as a breeder, huntsman and judge of equestrian competitions during his month in hospital.

His son Tim, 51, said: ‘Dad had been involved with horses since he was aged 15, and there’s nothing he didn’t know about them.


‘He was in the hospital in Bodmin five years ago, and as soon as he came out, I had to drive him up to Wales because he wanted to buy two horses up there.

‘I was contacted by the nurses who said he felt a little bit down and can we get the horse in. It was a really nice last gift and I was so delighted it happened.

‘The nurses organised it all. They just said, “Frank, we are moving you outside,” and then the horse was there. It was lovely.

‘They had overheard Frank talking at an earlier date about how he hoped he would be well enough to visit the horse soon. When he deteriorated and wouldn’t be able to leave the hospital they arranged it.

‘It’s a fantastic hospital. I can not thank them enough. The nurses really went above and beyond. It was such a wonderful gesture and I know my dad couldn’t have wished for anything better.’

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AUTHOR: Jerry Finch
  • What a moving story, that proves the strong bonds between the equestrians and their horses. Thank you very much!

    October 31, 2015
  • Mary Anne Gardner


    October 31, 2015
  • John R Holt

    Compassion lives…….

    November 9, 2015