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Friday, December 29, 2006

The story of Maggie and Jay

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Jakwan Davis, Felicia Davis, Maggie the dog, and trainer Mike Kewley during a recent visit
(Globe Staff Photo by Bill Polo)

REGION

What's happened to Maggie and Jay?

A Globe West story in September took a look at Maggie the therapy dog and her visits to sick children at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester. The children included Jay Davis, a 13-year-old boy in the intensive care unit who has an inoperable form of cancer.

The twist in the story was that Maggie had developed cancer herself.

The latest word: Both Maggie and Jay are recovering from chemotherapy to shrink their tumors.

Maggie's visits were suspended for three months because of the treatment, but she returned to the hospital a few weeks ago, in time to celebrate Jay's birthday. She was moving a little slower, but her tail was still wagging.

Jay has struggled with chemotherapy and has only been able to spend one day out of intensive care. While the average stay for a child in the ICU is two days, Jay has been there six months.

During the visit, Jay rested on his bed motionless after a chemo treatment. His eyelids fluttered as he struggled to see the dog. Mike Kewley, Maggie's owner, lifted Maggie onto the bed next to him. Jay's mother, Felicia, guided his hand to help him pet her.

A nurse noted that Jay's blood pressure and heart rate dropped at the same time.

Felicia Davis said she doesn't know if her son will ever live free of a ventilator, or be able to walk or talk. She said she had little money to buy him Christmas gifts.

"My son is a fighter," she said. "We just go up and down."

-- Megan Woolhouse

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