Ryan Jessen was dying in a California hospital when his family brought his best friend to his bedside to say goodbye: his dog Mollie.
The 33-year-old had suffered a brain hemorrhage and was on a ventilator when Molly came by. Ryan’s sister Michelle caught the moment on video and shared in on Facebook.
“Just realizing that my brother is not going to wake up, it was obviously upsetting,” Michelle told Today. “We wanted the dog to have closure. We wanted to make sure she understood.”
Ryan adopted Mollie six years ago when he came across Mollie in a cemetery. She was a flea-bitten puppy, but the two developed a close bond.
Mollie knew something wasn’t quite right when she saw Ryan for the last time. “Mollie’s reaction normally would’ve been to run up and jump on him and be super excited, and she was very hesitant the way she reacted to him [at the hospital],” Michelle told Today.
Ryan passed away on November 30, but his family finds some consolation that his organs will be donated to those who need them, included a 17-year-old boy, according to Michelle. With millions viewing the video and learning about Ryan, the family hopes his story will promote organ donation.
Mollie now lives with Ryan’s parents in Sutter, California. “She will continue to love Ryan vicariously through our family,” Michelle said. “People are very worried about the dog, and we couldn’t fathom not having her.”