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Nurse Takes Care Of Dog During His Dad's Entire Hospital Stay

“When I was told by the doctor that I was going to have emergency surgery, I didn't want to do it because I had no idea what was going to happen to Mr. Midnight."

Jose Carbajal is a truck driver who travels all across the country for his job — and on every trip he always has his best friend, Mr. Midnight, by his side the whole time.

Mr. Midnight is 8 months old and has been with Carbajal and his family for about six months now. Mr. Midnight and Carbajal are the best of friends, and love keeping each other company on their journeys across the country.

nurse takes care of man's dog
Jose Carbajal

“He has a great personality,” Carbajal told The Dodo. “He is an amazing dog and a great friend. He loves to ride in the truck and look out the window at all the scenery. We have been all across the country and he loves it.”

nurse takes care of man's dog
Jose Carbajal

On one of their work trips, Carbajal and Mr. Midnight were riding along together like usual when Carbajal started to feel sick. He was experiencing extreme, intense stomach pain, but since he was traveling with Mr. Midnight, he wasn’t sure how he would go about getting help. As the pain got worse, Mr. Midnight could sense there was something wrong with his best friend.

“For those 15 hours that I was in pain Mr. Midnight knew that something was wrong,” Carbajal said. “He would not eat or drink or be his joyful self. I would catch him staring at me with sad eyes.”

nurse takes care of man's dog
Jose Carbajal

Finally, Carbajal left Mr. Midnight in his truck and went to Piedmont Henry Hospital to find out what was wrong. As it turned out, the pain was from his appendix, and the doctors told him he needed to have emergency surgery to have it taken out.

“When I was told by the doctor that I was going to have emergency surgery I didn't want to do it because I had no idea what was going to happen to Mr. Midnight,” Carbajal said. “He was inside my 18-wheeler waiting for me to come back. I was more worried about Mr. Midnight than I was about myself.”

Carbajal told the doctors and nurses about Mr. Midnight, waiting for him back in his truck, hoping they might be able to help. A group of nurses quickly stepped up to the challenge, determined to find Mr. Midnight a safe place to go while his dad was in the hospital. After a lot of quick thinking and asking around, they finally found someone who could help and come up with a plan.

nurse takes care of man's dog
Deanna Mahaley

Deanna Mahaley, a certified surgical tech at Piedmont Henry Hospital, heard about Carbajal’s plight from the ER staff. She and her family already had three rescue dogs and three rescue cats of their own, and were more than willing to open up their home to another in need.

“After Jose’s surgery and before my next one, I contacted the ER nurse who put me in touch with the ultrasound tech, Wendy Johnson, who had the information,” Mahaley told The Dodo. “I quickly texted my husband her info as I was scrubbing in for my next case and my husband went and got Mr. Midnight, with the help of Wendy. When I got off work, I went upstairs to Jose’s room and introduced myself, and let him know who it was exactly watching his dog.”

nurse takes care of man's dog
Deanna Mahaley

While Carbajal recovered, Mr. Midnight stayed with Mahaley and her family for a whole week. He fit in great with their other dogs, and became just like another member of the family during his stay. If she and her family hadn’t stepped up, there’s no telling what would have happened to Mr. Midnight. Instead, he was able to make a ton of new friends, while he waited for his dad to be well enough to take care of him again.

nurse takes care of man's dog
Deanna Mahaley

“When I heard Jose had a puppy in his truck, my mind couldn't get over the fact that the poor thing was probably scared to death that his owner was absent for so long,” Mahaley said. “It was killing me. I honestly didn't even think about how he'd do in the presence of my animals or kids, it just all happened as if it was meant to be.”

nurse takes care of man's dog
Jose Carbajal

Now, Carbajal and Mr. Midnight are back together again, and couldn’t be happier to be reunited. He and his family are so grateful to everyone who helped Mr. Midnight during his time in the hospital. They’ve stayed in touch with Mahaley and all of the ER nurses and ultrasound techs who helped out, and are all great friends now.

“They will always have a special place in my heart, and Mr. Midnight will never forget them and all the love they gave him,” Carbajal said.