In 2015, Dina Theissen rescued a baby bird. Little did she know that the bird would save her life three years later.
It happened in early spring in 2015 when Dina stepped outside her home when she suddenly noticed a tiny baby bird with grey plumage lying at the bottom of an oak tree near her door.
Dina knew that she needed to rescue the baby bird so she brought it home.
When she called a rescue agency later and told them about the bird, they advised her to leave it in case the mother was looking for the baby bird.
Unfortunately, the mother bird never returned and Dina decided to take care of the baby bird until it regained its health.
Dina later named the baby bird Gracie and built her a nest inside her enclosed patio.
When Dina first brought Gracie into her house, she was not the only excited at taking care of the bird. It seemed that her daughter, Alyssa, 6 and her husband, Ken, were happy to look after the bird together.
To feed Gracie, they soaked dry cat food in water and fed the baby bird every 30 minutes. They later realized that Gracie was actually a male bird but they remained with the name.
Dina also took the effort and purposely consulted a bird expert to learn how to take care of Gracie. Under the care of his new family, Gracie later not only regained his health but also grew into a beautiful bluejay.
Gracie got along well with Dina’s family and loved perching on Ken’s shoulder.
He also loved singing a lullaby to Alyssa.
Everyone hopes to keep the bluejay within the family as long as they can, but they also know that Gracie will one day return to the wild. So, Dina often takes him outside and teaches how to build nests and forage. Gracie is very smart and a fast learner.
Soon it was time to release Gracie, however, he was unwilling to leave. Two weeks later, the family tried to release Gracie back into the wild again and he finally flew off.
The grateful bluejay never forgot to pay Dina and her family a visit from time to time.
Sometimes, Gracie brought small gifts for Dina and her family.
However, in 2016, Dina was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and Gracie knew that Dina needed him at that moment more than ever.
“I was very weak and tired, and he would be chirping away, acting like he was having a conversation with me. It’s like he knew that something was wrong—he was showing empathy,” Dina said.
“I truly believe that Gracie knows we saved him and that we’re his human family,” she said.
Thanks to Gracie, the family gained strength and hope to go through a difficult time.
“During that difficult time, Gracie gave us hope and helped us to focus on the positive,” Ken said.
“During his visits, we didn’t have anger, uncertainty or fear, and Dina was comforted. It was incredible to witness the difference he made to Dina when she was recovering from surgery and going through chemotherapy.”
After two years of fighting cancer, doctors announced a miracle discovery: Dina was free from cancer.
Only the family knew that they did not fight the battle alone. It was all thanks to Gracie who was always there to brighten up their days.
“Whenever Gracie’s here, the calls echo through the entire house,” Dina said.
“He shows up and my day is instantly brighter. He’s not just a bird — he’s my guardian angel.”
Now, Gracie still keeps true to his promise to visit them regularly to bring a smile to their face. “Every single day, Gracie brings us smiles,” Ken said.