It’s been a long time since Daphne McCabe smiled.
Her health has been on a rapid decline since the sudden death of her youngest daughter four years ago.
Then three days after celebrating her 88th birthday, the Gwynneville grandma buckled and fell in her bedroom, breaking her femur in three places.
Loved ones have been there every step of the way, willing Daphne back to good health but she is too weak.
Now Daphne spends her days sleeping, rarely opening her eyes, her face void of emotion.
Last week doctors told Daphne’s family members, who have been keeping a bedside vigil at Port Kembla Hospital, to prepare for the worst – that she had just a few days left to live.
So with that in mind, granddaughter Shantelle Brown wanted to do everything she could to help Daphne relive fond memories of better days.
Her mind turned to a miniature pony named Honey, who grandma loved visiting in Shantelle’s back yard.
‘’I showed grandma a photo of her sitting on Honey back in the day. The nurse overheard and I suggested, as kind of a joke, to bring the horse in,’’ Shantelle said.
Somehow, the staff made it happen. The very next day the 17-year-old miniature pony arrived in her horse float. She was walked up the hospital entrance steps and into the lift which took her to level one.
‘’Grandma was asleep, they thought she was in a coma. I whispered in her ear ‘look who we have here’.
‘’She opened one eye and she saw Honey. I brought Honey to other side of the bed, and as soon as she saw her opened both eyes and she smiled.’’
Shantelle said making her grandma smile one last time was a beautiful moment for the entire family and the caring staff in the palliative care unit.
Her mum Susan, who has been doing the night shift at Daphne’s bedside, was overwhelmed.
Grandma was asleep, they thought she was in a coma. I whispered in her ear ‘look who we have here'
‘’A relative of the man in the room next to mum gave me a big hug,’’ Susan said. ‘’He said to me the name really suited Honey who had shown so much sweetness and serenity to the patients.
‘’Honey had all the staff smiling and laughing too, it was just amazing. The family are having such a rough time but the nursing staff are just such angels.’’