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The Healing Power of Pets – Life Story 1

By Jacklyn | December 9, 2008

Lim Hong-aun was severely depressed. A schizophrenic in his mid-40s, he had spent almost half his life in mental hostels in Singapore and Malaysia. Living in a hostel in Ipoh, he barely spoke to anyone and spent long periods lying in his room.

Then Dr M. Mahadevan, newly appointed head of Lim’s hostel, decided that many of his patients would benefit from visiting his neighbouring horse farm. Caring for horses, the doctor reasoned, might help long-institutionalised patients open up and interact with the outside world.

Lim was initially reluctant to leave the hostel, let alone go near horses. But with encouragement from the hostel staff, he began grooming, watering and walking the animals.

Before long, Lim started talking to the horses, telling them his troubles. He would smile when a horse nudged him for more food or acknowleged his presence with a whinny. Gradually, the contact with the animals encouraged Lim to open up to people. For the first time, he started talking to staff at the hostel.

Lim eventually moved to a nearby halfway house, where he continued to receive care but was free to come and go, then took a job helping to run Mahadevan’s home in Kuala Lumpur. “Hong-aun’s life has improved dramatically,” Mahadevan says. “There’s no question the horses brought him out of his withdrawn state.”

Story was published on August 2000 Asia edition Reader’s Digest.

Related Posts:

The Healing Power of Pets – Life Story 2

The Healing Power of Pets – Scientific Research 

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Topics: Gratitude, Health Tips, Healthy Lifestyle | 2 Comments »


2 Responses to “The Healing Power of Pets – Life Story 1”

  1. The Healing Power of Pets - Scientific Research at Personal Development Blog - Inspiring & Empowering Lives Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 4:24 pm

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  2. The Healing Power of Pets - Life Story 2 at Personal Development Blog - Inspiring & Empowering Lives Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 4:26 pm

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