Roberto Gonzalez’s last wish as he lay paralyzed in a veterans hospital was to say goodbye to his horses, Sugar and Ringo.
So on Saturday, 46 years to the day after he was paralyzed while fighting in the Army in Vietnam, he was wheeled outside in his bed of the Audie L. Murphy Memorial Veterans Hospital in San Antonio and greeted by his horses.
“He was aware of the horses being there, and opened his eyes,” hospital spokesman Lupe Hernandez told The Daily Beast. “The horses were kissing him.”
Despite being paralyzed, Gonzalez returned to the U.S. and began training and racing horses throughout Texas and Arizona.
“My husband was one of the only handicapped or paralyzed licensed horse trainers in Texas,” Rosario Gonzalez told News 4 San Antonio.
Rosario, who organized the reunion, called the hospital staff “angels” for granting her husband his last, dying wish.
“You became a part of our family,” she wrote on Facebook.
Gonzalez, now 65, was one of the hospital’s first patients after it opened in 1974, Hernandez said.
“When we know that they’re at the end of life, we try make them as comfortable as possible,” he added.