Caroline Coster returns with a therapy animal to Bedford Hospital

Nurse Cathy O'Brien and her sizable black and tan dog Duke are pictured with Caroline Coster

In an effort to give back to the staff, a woman who had her hands and feet amputated after contracting sepsis has brought in her dog to serve as a therapy animal.

In 2020, Bedford resident Caroline Coster, 60, who was being treated for covid, started to experience sepsis.

While a patient at Bedford Hospital, Mrs. Coster—a mother of two—ended up needing a quadruple amputation.

She claimed that being able to bring her dog in to assist staff had restored her sense of usefulness.

In the hospital's induced coma, Mrs. Coster, a teacher, came dangerously close to passing away twice.

Duke, who is currently undergoing therapy dog training, will be making weekly visits.

The immune system overreacting is what leads to sepsis. It begins attacking other body parts in addition to just fighting an infection.

The most common causes of sepsis are viruses and bacteria that result in lung infections or diarrhea.

Caroline Coster with nurse Cathy O'Brien inside Bedford Hospital
Cathy O'Brien, who assisted in Mrs. Coster's medical care, expressed her delight at her progress.

As a result of her gratitude, Mrs. Coster said it was difficult to see some of the staff who had cared for her for the first time since leaving the hospital.

"In such a trying time, they did so much for me. ".

"To come back here and feel useful is an amazing gift for me," she said, describing how it felt like she had "come full circle" when she returned to the hospital to assist.

"I think it's giving me as much, if not more than it's giving to the hospital," she said.

One of the specialized nurses who assisted in caring for Mrs. Coster, Cathy O'Brien, expressed how amazing it was to see her again.

Seeing Mrs. Coster, according to Ms. O'Brien, was "wonderful.".

It was "completely new" for the hospital to have Duke as a therapy pet, according to anaesthesia and critical care consultant Sarah Snape, who also assisted in treating Mrs. Coster. She also noted that it would benefit the critical care staff.

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