Com­pan­ion’s visit the best medicine

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - OPINION -

IT was a true ex­am­ple of the say­ing ‘a dog is a man’s best friend’ when Mundi­jong res­i­dent Lorenzo Devin­cen­tis and his beloved com­pan­ion Shadow re­united.

Mr Devin­cen­tis was ad­mit­ted to Fiona Stan­ley Hos­pi­tal in Novem­ber last year with sta­phy­lo­coc­cus au­reus, which can lead to se­ri­ous in­fec­tion.

The con­di­tion af­fected his heart and he ended up in emer­gency surgery to have a valve in his heart re­placed.

On De­cem­ber 29, Mr Devin­cen­tis suf­fered a ma­jor stroke and was ad­mit­ted back to hos­pi­tal.

He re­mained in hos­pi­tal fol­low­ing com­pli­ca­tions with his ab­domen and lymph nodes.

Mean­while, his best friend Shadow - a four-year-old Great Dane - was at home in a glum state not know­ing where his owner was.

In an odd co­in­ci­dence, Shadow was al­ready suf­fer­ing from di­lated car­diomy­opa- thy (DCM), which is char­ac­terised by an en­larged heart.

He was only ex­pected to live for six to eight months, but by the time Mr Devin- cen­tis went into hos­pi­tal he had al­ready sur­vived a seizure and had out­lived his prog­no­sis by two months.

Mr Devin­cen­tis’ daugh­ter Laura Devin­cen­tis said Shadow had not been the same since her dad left for hos­pi­tal and her dad in turn was wor­ried about Shadow; so she de­cided to do some­thing about it.

“On Jan­uary 12, I gath­ered up the dog in the car and drove to Fiona Stan­ley Hos­pi­tal,” she said.

“I rang my father, who had just been taken off his heart mon­i­tor, and told him I was down­stairs with a spe­cial vis­i­tor.”

The dog and owner lit up with joy when they saw each other again and their re­union did not leave a dry eye.

Mr Devin­cen­tis, who has since been dis­charged from hos­pi­tal, said the doc­tors were not keen for him to leave the ward, but noth­ing was go­ing to stop him.

“I knew who it was as soon as Laura said I had a spe­cial vis­i­tor,” he said.

“Shadow means ev­ery­thing to me. I bred him from a puppy – it was so re­vi­tal­is­ing to see him.”

Shadow and Lorenzo Devin­cen­tis re­unite with a hug while Mr Devin­cen­tis was in hos­pi­tal.

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