Patient Referral
Donald Macdonald 1
Gift of a Day Feature Story December 2023

Gift of a Day

We develop unique plans of care that include a Gift of a Day, our special program inspired by author Jim Stovall’s popular book “The Ultimate Gift.” Since its inception, we have helped thousands of hospice patients experience the perfect day. That day is based on the question: “If you had one perfect day, what would it look like?” Our staff members, volunteers and local businesses work together to bring these perfect days to life for our hospice patients.

Visit from Blue the Miniature Pony Brings Serenity and Smiles

When it came time for Crossroads in Northeast Ohio to plan patient Donald McDonald’s Gift of a Day, he and his wife knew exactly what would make their perfect day. They wanted to visit with a miniature horse at their home.

Their wish came true when Miniature Horse Blue, donning special shoes and a tote bag, came over. Blue’s owners, Avery and her mom, Lori, were happy to make their appointment. Their nearby miniature horse farm has an outreach ministry of visiting the ill and homebound.

Miniature horses have shown their calming effect and that’s why more and more they’re being used to comfort patients in end-of-life care. Originally bred in Europe in the 17th Century, a miniature horse typically weighs around 100 pounds and is no more than 34 inches tall. Naturally sociable and calm, miniature horses have soft coats and manes that are perfect for petting and cuddling.

When Blue arrived at the McDonald’s home for his visit, he went straight to Donald’s bedside and stood quietly next to him. Family and friends who gathered were so happy to see Donald’s joy as he couldn’t stop petting Blue while reminiscing about his long-gone days riding horses bareback.