Dying veteran’s last wish fulfilled, family lovingly arranges horses Ringo and Sugar to visit hospital bed

When it is time to leave for good, one wishes to say goodbye one last time to all those who have meant a lot to you in your life— once that wish is granted, death may become easier.

Mr. Robert Gonzales, 65 years of age, fought bravely in the Vietnam war for his country. “He was proud to serve his country,” his wife Rosario told The Daily Beast. Unfortunately for him, he was shot during his years in service and was critically injured, causing him to become paralyzed. Mr. Gonzales did not let his handicap deter his passion and love for free-spirited horses.

Though he was paralyzed, he still pursued a career in training race stallions. Mr. Gonzales loved the outdoors and was a down-to-earth family man at heart. His cattle and ranch meant the world to him.

Mr. Gonzales was admitted to the hospital due to a wound in his back, but later developed liver and kidney problems that turned life-threatening. After 10 months of hospital stay, when his conditions truly deteriorated, Robert made his last wish known to his family: he wanted to see his horses one last time.

Hospital staff is not at liberty to bend hospital rules, but there are occasional exceptions, especially when a patient or their family request something that is dear to the patient–and to Mr. Gonzales, his horses were his world.

“When we know that they’re at the end of life, we try to make them as comfortable as possible,” hospital spokesman Lupe Hernandez said.

Youtube Screenshot | nollygrio

Gonzales’ family made arrangements to bring the pair of horses named Ringo and Sugar on a 150-mile journey to the hospital. When they saw their owner, they immediately started kissing and nuzzling Gonzales’ face. “He was aware of the horses being there and opened his eyes,” Hernandez said. “The horses were kissing him.”

Mr. Gonzales loved the free spirit of horses, and although he was confined to a wheelchair, he had continued training horses.

Youtube Screenshot | nollygrio

Robert Gonzales could not speak, but his family knew how much it meant to him, surrounded by his family and by his beloved horses, he could say goodbye and be at peace.