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Dying man's wish to say goodbye to his beloved horse granted by hospital

A British man received his dying wish to see his beloved horse thanks to a surprise orchestrated by hospital staff only days before his death.
/ Source: TODAY

After spending 65 years working with horses, Frank Keat's only wish in the final days of his battle with cancer was to see his favorite horse one more time to say goodbye.

Keat's failing health prevented him from being transported to the stable, but the staff at Bodmin Hospital in Cornwall, England, ensured he would get a visit from his old friend before it was too late.

On Oct. 23, Keat was wheeled out to the hospital patio, where his prized 5-year-old horse, Early Morn, was waiting there, a surprise visit set up by his nurses.

Keat died three days later, at 80.

"It was a really nice last gift and I was so delighted it happened,'' his son, Tim, told wire service SWNS.

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"It was a wonderful gesture by the nurses to arrange for his horse to visit him like that. I want to thank all the staff on the ward for what they did, because I know my dad couldn't have wished for anything better."

As Keat savored his time with Early Morn, the staff couldn't help but get emotional. He’d often told stories from his equine career during his time at Bodmin.

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"I can honestly say that this is the most memorable day of my career,'' nurse Samantha Russell said. "The emotion was overwhelming and there wasn't a dry eye on the ward."

Keat started working in stables at 15 and later bred horses and served as a judge in equestrian competitions across England.

Early Morn is a thoroughbred hunter that Keat named himself.

"Frank was just overwhelmed and speechless,'' Russell said.

Follow writer Scott Stump on Twitter.