There are moments that mark your life. Those spent with Raymond & Peyo will certainly be part of it. I still have trouble looking at this picture without receiving all the emotion felt during these 48h at the palliative care unit of Calais Hospital. I also have trouble writing. All I can say is that I saw smiles on the face of a sick man who is living the last hours of his life. No frightening, no painful, but peaceful.
I saw him, brave, find the energy to sit in a wheelchair and walk around the hospital with Peyo. He really wanted this ride.
Raymond never liked being inactive, he didn’t talk much but he acted. Moreover, there were no problems that remained unresolved with him. 14 years ago, he had survived his first cancer, « Raymond and I have been struggling for 14years, but there is love… » his wife Veronique told me with great joy and strength. Raymond had never had any particular contact with a horse before his encounter with Peyo a few days before the Salon du Cheval. Peyo had chosen him, that’s how it works with him. When he returned from the Salon,10 days later, he had not forgotten him, he went back to see him in room01. Peyo must have appreciated calm and sweetness of Raymond. When he came into his room, everyone had to leave, it was a matter of the two of them. He put his head near Raymond’s face, watched over him, brought him peace.
Raymond wanted to go home on Friday morning, to « close his eyes at home », Peyo was there to say goodbye. He followed the stretcher that led Raymond to the ambulance, like a last act of love. It was overwhelming. After his departure, Peyo returned to room 01, empty, he did not understand. So he went back to the parking lot, empty too,then he went back to his friend’s room, empty… I don’t know if Peyo is a guardian angel,a hero… all I know is that he gave this man love and appeasement. Did their souls receive communion? Did they talk? Did they understand each other just with their eyes? Because they are two pure beings who find themselves, without judgment. Maybe we can’t explain everything. Feeling it and seeing the smile on Raymond’s face is enough for me. »
Raymond passed away this afternoon…. Peyo accompanied him to the end – After he left the hospital last Friday, Hassen took Peyo to Raymond’s house to see him. He was able to go into his room with the horse on Monday, and yesterday they went for one last walk outside. I think Raymond left in peace because of the relationship and the unique moments he had with Peyo. Was it possible to do more? More than trying to make his last days on earth a little more pleasant, less painful. Peyo’s delicacy and sweetness did Raymond good, it was so beautiful to see him smile. I am grateful to have been able to witness these moments of humanity with the caregivers of the palliative care service of the Centre hospitalier de Calais, who do an exceptional job, Hassen and Peyo, guardian angels. All my thoughts go to Veronique and Raymond. »
Today, Peyo said goodbye to Raymond. It’s the end of a great journey, a beautiful story. Peyo’s guidance to the end brought a lot of comfort to Raymond and his family. Raymond leaves in peace, surrounded by love, with the moving picture of their magnificent face-to-face as their last image. There were tears but also many smiles as we thought of Raymond’s kindness, simplicity and courage. Goodbye our dear friend »
The noblest art is that of making others happy
Never stop making each other feel good in any single way you can
Cherish every moment, and hold your loved ones close »
Peyo watches over them. This 14-year-old stallion is exceptional. Unique. We don’t know in the world, a horse capable of detecting vulnerable people and showing empathy as he regularly does by going to the bedside of patients in French hospitals who accompany this scientific experiment. Peyo is surprising. He’s the one who decides when he want to go inside the hospital, and who he want to see. At some point, without anyone being able to explain it, he will move towards a being and create a bond with him. In addition to being perfectly trained by his partner Hassen and having an irreproachable hygiene to enter in the hospital, Peyo has the gift of calming patients, he sometimes succeeds, where drugs fail. It provides additional support to the extraordinary work of caregivers. Serenity, smiles in the most terrible moments. a supplement of humanity. »
LES SABOTS DU CŒUR
Trainer / Horse rider / Artist: Hassen Bouchakour
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Text & photos: Jessica Rodrigues