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Boy passes away before story on pet therapy airs - Greenville, NC | News | Weather | Sports - WNCT.com

Boy passes away before story on pet therapy airs

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GREENVILLE, N.C. - Man's best friend might just be man's best therapy.

Most dogs are familiar with the words, sit, lie down and heal.

‘Healing is exactly what some dogs are doing in the East. They’re healing people of all ages, going through all types of challenges.

Jitters is the pediatric therapy dog at James and Connie Maynard Children's Hospital at Vidant Medical Center. Her owner, Mary Sours, says kids light up when they see her walk into the room.
 
"She’s had kids move purposely for the first time post brain traumas, we have had kids communicate for the first time post brain injuries, we've had kids talk for the first time, walk for the first time,” said Sours.
 
For others, it’s something they look forward to each week.

"I think that's the only highlight of my week. When dogs come to see me,” said Kayce Kerr.
 
Yogi has been working with Kerr for the past 10 weeks. She was hospitalized Thanksgiving weekend after a serious car accident.

"My own therapy is pretty hard,” said Kerr. “So being relieved by pet therapy is the best feeling ever."
 
This type of therapy is proven to work.

"Any patient who comes to my unit, I ask if they like animals and if they do, we sign them up,” said Vidant Medical Center Physician Assistant, Patricia Rice. “It's been a tremendous benefit to them."
 
Studies show it can lower blood pressure, improve heart health and actually decrease physical pain. Just ask 89-year-old Rena Medlin. She says everyone should have it.
 
"It would lift their spirits. It would give them something to think about and something to look forward to. It's just so wonderful,” said Medlin, a resident at Golden Living Center.
 
Amber and Beau are therapy dogs who visit Medlin and other residents weekly.  

"I love to love them. Rub them. Scratch them. Just have a good time," said Medlin.
 
From 89-year-old Rena to pediatric patients in the hospital, pets are sharing love, giving hope and healing people.
 
Each dog went through extensive training to become certified therapy dogs. The training is offered in the east and local trainers say there aren't enough therapy pets in the area.

If you think your pet has what it takes, click here to learn how your animal can become certified in therapy.

There is a very sad update to the story you just read.
    
A little boy featured in this story, Kayne Waters, passed away suddenly Tuesday night. His family still wanted us to run the story as pet therapy brought him joy and made his treatments easier.

We offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to Kayne's parents, his twin brother and entire family.
    
Thank you for sharing his story with us.

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