Best medicine: Woman recovering in hospital receives visit from her beloved horse

A bride-to-be was brought to tears when her fiancé arranged for her beloved horse to visit her in the hospital.

Christine Carbonneau was feeling depressed after recovering from a monthlong induced coma after being struck down with pneumonia following an operation to remove an abdominal blockage.

Christine Carbonneau gets a visit from her beloved horse Ireland during her stay at Connerton Long Term Acute Care Center, Florida. See SWNS story NYHORSE; A woman who spent more than a month in the ICU after she was struck down with pneumonia was brought to tears when her fiancé arranged for her beloved horse to visit her in hospital. Christine Carbonneau, 65, spent four weeks in an induced coma at Florida Hospital Tampa after she became critically ill following an operation to remove an abdominal blockage in December 2017. Although Christine’s health had improved enough to be relocated to Connerton Long Term Acute Care Center in Land o’ Lakes at the beginning of February, the RV resort manager’s fiancé, Gary Stephens, 52, thought her spirits were quite low after her ordeal. Gary, also an RV resort manager, hatched a plan with hospital officials and arranged to bring her rescue horse Ireland from their home in Thonotosassa, Florida, as a surprise.

65-year-old patient was moved to tears when her fiancé arranged a visit with her rescue horse, Ireland.  ( © Gary Stephens / SWNS.com)

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While recovering at a long-term facility in Land O’Lakes, Florida, the 65-year-old got the surprise of her life when her fiancé Gary Stephens decided to bring her rescue horse “Ireland” from their home in Thonotosassa, Florida, to cheer her up.

Christine Carbonneau gets a visit from her beloved horse Ireland during her stay at Connerton Long Term Acute Care Center, Florida. See SWNS story NYHORSE; A woman who spent more than a month in the ICU after she was struck down with pneumonia was brought to tears when her fiancé arranged for her beloved horse to visit her in hospital. Christine Carbonneau, 65, spent four weeks in an induced coma at Florida Hospital Tampa after she became critically ill following an operation to remove an abdominal blockage in December 2017. Although Christine’s health had improved enough to be relocated to Connerton Long Term Acute Care Center in Land o’ Lakes at the beginning of February, the RV resort manager’s fiancé, Gary Stephens, 52, thought her spirits were quite low after her ordeal. Gary, also an RV resort manager, hatched a plan with hospital officials and arranged to bring her rescue horse Ireland from their home in Thonotosassa, Florida, as a surprise.

"I could tell she was just a bit down and I thought I would hatch a plan to cheer her up," said Gary, the loving fiancé.  ( © Gary Stephens / SWNS.com)

“When Christine woke up at the end of January, she wasn’t able to talk and just too tired to write, “I could tell she was just a bit down and I thought I would hatch a plan to cheer her up,” the boyfriend, 52, told news service SWNS.

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The couple, who got engaged on Christmas Day, rescued the abused horse in February 2016, but Gary said "Ireland" always had a special relationship with Christine.

"He was so horribly abused before he came to us through the work of the SPCA, and he and Christine just hit it off," he said.

Christine burst into tears when she was wheeled outside to see the horse. Gary recalled, “It was such an amazing moment and it was special to see Christine smile.” 

"I’m really grateful to all the staff at the hospital who helped me make it happen,” he added.