Two loyal basset hounds have refused to leave the side of a dying five-month old baby girl after she suffered a major stroke on 6 April which caused extensive brain damage. Nora Hall from Duluth, Minnesota, was then placed in an induced coma and her parents have made the heart-breaking decision to turn off her life support machine. As the family's basset hounds had grown fond of the tiny Nora, nurses allowed the dogs to join sit by her bedside at the Children's Hospital in Minneapolis.
According to Nora's mother, Mary Hall, a high school teacher, the nurses have grown to love the dogs being on the ward despite the pair appearing to be "very stressed and sad" in the hospital. Hall wrote on Facebook: "My daughter had a stroke on April 6. We have been at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis since then. She is not going to survive.
"They allowed us to have our bassets here in the last couple of days because they are so attached to her."
Hall added that she was considering sending away the dogs but support on social media led her to decide to keep them nearby. She continued: "I was leaning towards sending them away [from her room] so they didn't get stressed, but after reading so many comments saying to keep them, then I will (the nurses are head over heels with them anyhow)."
Nora's parents said the longer they kept her on life support the more at risk she was of suffering more pain and another stroke. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family pay for medical costs which are expected to be around $50,000 (£35,000).
"The longer we keep her on life support, the higher the chance is that she will suffer an acute crisis such as another stroke, heart attack or organ failure that will take her life," her mother added.
"We do not know when or how this would strike, but it is likely soon. If this happens, the pain and palliative team cannot guarantee that she will pass comfortably and unafraid. Our hearts are so completely broken. Our world is shattered. We are devastated and ache for our baby girl. We tried so very hard to save her, but it just wasn't meant to be."
She added: "We have been praying so hard for a miracle, that we hadn't realised that it was right in front of us this whole time. Nora IS our miracle."