Hocus Pocus the companion horse supports Bellinger River hospital patients

Acting Deputy Director of Nursing Jennie Helisma and Hocus Pocus owner Bec Fawcett-Ashley with the miniature pony at Bellinger River District Hospital.

BELLINGER River Hospital provides a special treatment for its patients in the form of pats and a quiet presence with Hocus Pocus the companion horse.

The miniature pony travels all the way from Eungai Creek to visit not only the patients but the staff who all love stroking the beautifully natured pony who brightens their day and spreads his magic wherever he goes.

Hocus Pocus visits every couple of months and spends his time in Hartley House aged care facility and in the general ward at Bellinger River District Hospital.

Hocus Pocus’ owner and hospital staff member Bec Fawcett-Ashley said she was lucky enough to purchase the pony at one year of age, and it didn’t take her long to realise that he was born to help others.

“He’s just a very special pony.

“He will really focus on the patient, putting his nuzzle on their chest and he just stays there until the patient is ready,” Ms Fawcett-Ashley said.

“I usually allow him enough time to form eye contact with the patient, so they get that real bonding feeling.”

Some of the patients become quite emotional.

“Just a simple pat can bring beautiful memories flooding back, especially for those who have worked on the land.

“He just knows when someone is not well, and he responds to that.”

Acting Deputy Director of Nursing Jennie Helisma said having pet engagement in hospitals brings a sense of pure joy to everyone.

“The eyes of the patients and staff really light up and it is just a beautiful sight to see,” Ms Helisma said.

“And the staff love having Hocus Pocus visit, it really helps build staff morale.”


Patient Deb Lynwood enjoys a visit from Hocus Pocus.

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