Therapy horse brings smiles to sick children at Erlanger Medical - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Therapy horse brings smiles to sick children at Erlanger Medical Center

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

It was a magical day for younger patients at Erlanger Medical Center.

A miniature therapy horse, named "Magic", stopped by the hospital to visit with children on Thursday afternoon.

Erlanger has used therapy dogs to treat patients in the past, but the visit from a  therapy horse was a first.

Magic was making the rounds around the hospital floor, helping bring smiles to sick kids.

"I was really happy because I've never seen a baby horse in my life," said Mary Alice Lane, 11, who has been in the hospital for a couple of weeks.

Jorge Garcia-Bengochea runs the horse therapy non-profit, Gentle Carousel, which is based out of Florida.

He takes Magic to hospitals across the country and visits 45,000 children and adults each year.

The miniature horse stopped by the room of 5-year-old Ashton, who is recovering from surgery.

"Ashton has had a lot of health problems, so it's good to see him smile," said his grandmother, Linda Futch.
 
"Especially when they're in tough circumstances, to see them lighten up and have a sense of enchantment and enjoyment, we're glad we can do this," Garcia-Bengochea said.

 In addition to visiting hospitals, 8-year-old Magic has also stepped in to help after several national tragedies. The miniature horse has visited students after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, and also made stops in Moore, Oklahoma after deadly tornadoes hit.

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