Despite undergoing chemotherapy and surgery, 25-year-old Stuart Hutchison died from brain cancer after an 8-year battle with the disease. Shortly after, his best friend – a French bulldog named Nero – followed just 15 minutes later.
Stuart was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2011 and was treated through surgery and chemotherapy. But despite all attempts at fighting the disease, the family found in June that the cancer had spread to most of his brain, bones, and pelvis.
The doctors found no success in preventing it from spreading further, so Stuart decided to move back into his mother’s house to enjoy his final weeks in the home where he grew up, and to allow his mother to be his full-time caregiver.
During this time, Stuart’s wife, Danielle, was also staying at the house to be close to him. On August 11, the day when Stuart passed away, Danielle realized that her glasses were broken. Her dad said that he would be the one to go and get her another pair from the house where she and Stuart lived, so that she could spend more time with her husband who didn’t have long left.
While he was picking up the glasses, Danielle’s dad noticed that Nero, Stuart’s dog, looked very ill. He decided to rush him to the emergency vet where doctors discovered a rupture in his spine. Not long after arriving at the hospital, 2-year-old Nero died, just minutes after Stuart passed away.
“Stuart died about 1:15 p.m. that day, and Nero died roughly 15 minutes later,” Fiona Conaghan, Stuart’s mother, told Mirror. “He had three dogs, but him and Nero were like one man and his dog.” “Nero was the dog which was always with him,” she added.
Stuart and Danielle had two other dogs in their home – Nala and Amelia – the pup of Nero and Nala. But it was the former who developed a close bond with Stuart.
While the family always knew that Stuart’s death was a possibility even with treatments like chemotherapy, it was still “a shock and traumatic” when it actually happened. Nero’s death added to the tragedy and made the situation even sadder.
“Danielle was heartbroken to have lost both of them, but she has been so strong,” Fiona said.
It was as if this loyal dog never wanted to leave his owner’s side. But knowing that the pair are still together in a much better place is a comfort that the family could rest on during this tragic time in their lives.