NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A boy from Spring Valley was set to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year with a new heart.
As Kris Van Cleave reported, doctors said the love of a special four-legged friend helped Pablo Patino get back on his feet.
If it’s true that laughter is the best medicine, then Ralph was just the right dose for Pablo. He was reunited with his therapy dog at a Valentine’s Day party at Mount Sinai Hospital Friday.
“I said to myself: ‘Ralph is here. I’m so excited to play with him,’” Pablo said.
Pablo and Ralph first met in March, as Pablo waited for a transplant. He had congestive heart failure, and his enlarged heart was deteriorating fast.
“There were times he was so sick he could not have survived, so it’s amazing,” said Dr. Irene Lytrivi, pediatric cardiologist at the Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai.
Pablo received his new heart in November, but after surgery, doctors said he needed something more than just modern medicine. That was where Ralph stepped in.
Pablo said before Ralph, his leg hurt so severely that he didn’t even want to get out of bed.
“He made me forget about it,” Pablo said.
When Pablo forgot about the pain, he got back on his feet and walked with Ralph. He was still moving around a little slowly at the time of their reunion.
“He made me feel better,” Pablo said. “He made me do some exercise; walking.”
“It was very important, because he was more positive about trying to get through this; trying to get through his transplant; trying to get out of the hospital,” Dr. Lytrivi added.
Pablo did get out, leaving the hospital after three weeks. His new heart has been healing with the help of Ralph’s love.
Pablo has been continuing his recovery at home and attending physical therapy. Doctors said he is doing well.