Reuniting hospital-bound patients with their beloved pets will finally be a possibility after years of campaigning to make the Mater Dei pet cabin a reality.
Spearheaded by supermom Sarah Cachia (the mother of Titanium Man, Jacob) and her organisation Survivors Malta, together with the help of JCI Malta, the project aims to build a space where patients can meet their fur babies safely.
Construction has been given the go-ahead and the project should be completed within the coming months.
The need for this cabin first started making the rounds on social media back in 2013 after Sarah posted a photo of Jacob him hugging his beloved Yorkshire terrier on the steps of the hospital.
“This particular photo captures a significant moment of sheer joy when our 15 year old sick son was reunited with our family dog Peanut outside the main entrance at Mater Dei Hospital,” said Sarah. “After months of heartache and pain we finally shed happy tears!”
Sarah’s full post read:
“It all started with this one photo taken way back in March 2013. A photo can speak volumes. This particular photo captures a significant moment of sheer joy when our 15 year old sick son was reunited with our family dog Peanut outside the main entrance at Mater Dei Hospital. After months of heartache and pain we finally shed happy tears! Jacob had been begging to see our Yorkshire Terrier Peanut since waking up from his coma in ITU. It was our son’s only wish. It could have been his last as he was seriously ill. As his parents we felt helpless when we were told that dogs were not allowed to enter the Hospital. We even cut off a tuft of Peanut’s hair and put it in a little plastic bag for Jacob to hold in the hope that one day he may finally be allowed to hold his dog again. Thankfully that day arrived albeit out in the cold in a busy street outside the hospital!”
“A year or so later when we were In better days we asked the authorities at the Hospital if we could perhaps designate a room on the grounds of Mater Dei where recuperating patients could see their family pets. Abroad pet visitation and pet therapy is implemented at many hospitals and after experiencing this first hand through our own son’s recovery we knew how much it played a crucial part in the healing process!”
“And so prompted by this photo which went viral when we shared it here on Facebook asking why pet visitation wasn’t allowed at Mater Dei, we began talks with the authorities concerned and with the Minister of Health. In the name of our support group Survivors Malta we joined forces with JCI Malta to raise funds for our campaign. We had a lot of red tape to cut through and regulations to abide to, but we did it. Now finally in 2018 we are going to see this project become a reality and The Reunited Pet Cabin will be built in the coming months. This project will not only help many families with sick hospitalised loved ones, but we hope that it will also pave the pathway for other pet related projects at our institutions here in Malta. We wish to thank all who believe in us and what we do. Together we can all make a difference”