Llama visits patients, spreads cheer at Germantown hospital

Published: Mar. 31, 2015 at 9:51 PM CDT|Updated: Apr. 1, 2015 at 5:16 PM CDT
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(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

GERMANTOWN, TN (WMC) - Remember the llamas that went on the run in Phoenix, Arizona last month? Little did many of us know that those llamas are actually used to provide therapy.

A similar llama paid a visit to Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

Pearl is a therapy llama from Furnace Creek Farm, which is located near Nashville. Patients, parents, and practitioners lined up outside the maternity center to meet her.

Pearl's breed became somewhat of a pop culture sensation in February after two therapy llamas got loose in Arizona. Their run across the city, which was captured via helicopter, went viral. From that incident, the term "llama drama" was coined.

"We've been partnering with the Mid-South therapy dogs and friends for several years now and our patients, family, and friends, and even our own associates get excited about it every time they come to visit," said Vice President of Methodist Le Bonheur Germantown Hospital, Rebecca Cullison.

Tori Hawk, who also works at Furnace Creek Farm, says Pearl prefers her life of visiting hospitals over a life on the run.

"Nope, Pearl is not into drama, just llama fun today," Hawk said. "They're just fun. They're very quirky and people don't know a lot about them and they're very interesting."

"Seeing the llama definitely brightened my day, and it brightens the patient's day and it makes their stay a little better," added nursing student Blair Slater.

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