Doctor from Maine uses ‘Magic’ to fulfill patient’s dying wish

“There’s a lot of things we can’t do in medicine, we can’t fix every problem,” said Dr. Elizabeth Mann, Fellow, Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Mount Sinai Health System in New York.

“But we can provide some happiness to our patients.”

Mann, a 2002 graduate of Deering High School in Portland, was recently featured on for bringing a bit of “magic” to one of her terminally ill patients.

Terry Lee, a woman in her 70’s who rode horseback in her younger years, was suffering from a terminal illness and under Mann’s care. With no family, Lee confided in Mann her dying wish to see a horse one last time.

Without Lee’s knowledge, Mann reached out to Gentle Carousel Miniature Therapy Horses, who provided a horse named “Magic” to come into Lee’s hospital room to pay her a visit:

“Being able to be with a horse again was something that was really important to her,” said Mann with a smile, “so I wanted to make that happen for her.”

Lee passed on Saturday, but not before she was able to feel a bit of happiness and love- from the horse and from her doctor.

“She was a cool lady and I’m going to miss her,” said Mann.

“I can’t believe the hospital let me get away with it, all the administrators stayed late just to see the horse arrive. It was pretty cool how everyone pulled together for her.”

Note: Magic and her team of therapy horses have worked with more than 45,000 patients in hospitals and hospice programs, and with families who have experienced traumatic events, including visiting students after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School and victims of the deadly tornadoes in Moore, Oklahoma.

Chris Shorr

About Chris Shorr

Chris is a sixth generation Portlander who loves all things Maine. He has worked with mentally ill and marginalized adults at a Portland non-profit, on a lobster boat in Casco Bay, at several high-end Portland restaurants, and at a local meat packing plant. He also ran for Portland City Council in 2013, wrote a weekly column in the now defunct Portland Daily Sun, and currently writes a weekly column in The Portland Phoenix.