Pets help people in so many different ways! You will probably have heard many heart-warming stories of how animals have assisted soldiers to recover from post-traumatic stress disorder or autistic children to improve their social skills. Now, a pair of rabbits have proved instrumental in their new owner regaining the use of her hands!
Marley-Belle Quaid from Guildford was confined to a wheelchair and unable to move her hands following a series of operations. Movement hadn’t returned to her wrists and her hands had stubbornly refused to respond to physiotherapy. None of the available treatments had worked for 32-year-old Marley-Belle.
Woodstock and Wilfred
She then adopted Woodstock and Wilfred, two rabbits which had been found dumped in local woods by a jogger and then handed to the RSPCA. The poor bunnies were horribly matted and had been severely neglected. They spent a year in foster care because nobody had shown any interest in taking them on.
Marley-Belle didn’t know how she was going to care for the rabbits as she needed so much help herself, but decided that she just had to adopt them. Within six months of taking on the rabbits, she had regained the use of her hands! She could now groom the rabbits herself and could even use a pair of scissors. Her surgeon was extremely surprised at her recovery which Marley-Belle attributes to the rabbits.
In a tribute to her furry friends, Marley-Belle said, “Woodstock and Wilfred have given me so much more than love, they’ve given me independence and freedom.”
Prior to the arrival of the bunnies, Marley-Belle had been forced to use a wheelchair to get about because she did not have the required movement in her hands and wrists to use crutches. Now she can get out and about without the chair.
The rabbits live the life of riley! They benefit from their own bedroom and a room filled with play furniture including hides, tunnels, warrens, jumps and a hay pit. They are very happy bunnies indeed!
All of which goes to show just how much pets can enhance our lives. It is hard to know whether Marley-Belle would have recovered anyway had she not taken on the rabbits. Neither is it possible to tell whether it was regular handling of the rabbits which helped her or if she recovered simply because she was feeling more positive following the arrival of her new pets.
There is a great deal of evidence to suggest that a positive outlook can aid recovery and that people with pets are generally healthier than those without pets. For whatever reason, a woman who had failed to recover after extensive physiotherapy, regained the use of her hands when she adopted two bunnies who were in a need of a home.