Last week, Michael Eades—long-time doorman at the Fairmont Copley Plaza hotel in Boston—changed the life of one of his guests… with the help of a dog.
In the 20 years that Michael has worked at the hotel, he must have seen thousands of guests come and go, befriending many of them along the way.
But when he met 12-year-old Brandon Leach, who has lived at the hotel with his mother since January, while being treated at Mass. General Hospital, Michael felt he had to do something more.
Brandon has Mitochondrial Disease, a condition in which failure of the mitochondria—responsible for creating more than 90-percent of the energy needed by the body to sustain life and support growth—cause cell injury and cell death. Whole systems—the brain, heart, liver, skeletal muscles, kidney and the endocrine and respiratory systems—can begin to fail. The disease primarily affects children.
Common side effects include nausea and fevers. When these occur, they often prevent Brandon from leaving the room.
Michael noticed that Brandon loved playing with Carly, one of two Black Labs that are “ambassadors” at the hotel.
“There were many days when Brandon was sick in his room and didn’t want to come down and the only way we could get him down was to have him come down and see Carly,” Eades told CBS Local.
That’s when Michael got the idea: he rallied other hotel employees and guests to chip in, and Michael found a dog breeder with a new litter of Black Labs in Pennsylvania. Last week, Michael made the 11-hour round trip and surprised Brandon with a puppy.
Brandon named the dog Copley.