AMBROSIA HAS PASSED –
HER HEART WAS TOO DAMAGED TO SUSTAIN HER…
Many of you missed this post due to Labor Day, so we are reposting… with an update!
UPDATE! 8PM 9/4/12
BHFER had enough donations today (theirs and ours) to move ahead with the first surgery to one side of Ambrosia’s lungs! Time is of the essence so they grabbed the opportunity and went ahead. Yay!
This mare is a fighter for sure because there was a scary complication – air escaping her lung – but she held on as the surgeons repaired it.
Here is what Theresa said after the first surgery:
“They ended up taking most of her rib – there was a huge amount of fibren and pus. There was a scare where there was some air leaking but they managed to seal it off. Ambrosia just lost about 10 lbs …”
That 10lbs was fluid and bad gunk – and her rib. Can you imagine 10lbs of abscess gak in your chest?!! Ugh.
Anyway, she is recovering tonight…eating hay and drinking. The doctors are very hopeful.
Our September Bucket Funds will go towards this surgery today, the second surgery next week (other lung) and if there is any left over, the major antibiotics and aftercare needed.
If you can believe this, BHFER has agreed to clean out her abscess areas for a month – manually. Yup, they will open the cavity and clean it – to make sure the infection is totally gone.
Anyway, for all of you who missed yesterday’s post, here it is again! The thermometer will change if you view it on the website or on the Bucket Fund page. If you receive this via email, the thermometer will not advance.
ORIGINAL POST FROM 9/4/12
THIS MARE HAS THE EXACT SAME INFECTION AS MY DAUGHTER DID- FIXABLE WITH SURGERY – BUT WITHOUT SURGERY… well, we won’t go there… Meet Ambrosia, our Bucket Fund horse for September.
Many of you were so lovely when my step-daughter, Katarina, came down with a horrible case of pneumonia this summer.
It started with her coughing and feeling crummy. She was taken to the pediatrician and given a strong antibiotic. She got better. Then a week later, when she was with us, she suddenly took a turn for the worse.
Luckily, Katarina can speak. She was telling us that it felt as though there were weights on her chest. She couldn’t breathe. The pain when she tried to breathe deeply was severe and intense. She was panting and frightened. The only comfortable position was upright. Katarina cried quietly for a few hours, thinking that she might be dying.
We took her to the ER.
After an Xray, they told us that her lungs were filling and the fluid had gone into the area between the lung and the chest wall lining. So, not only did she have intense pain from the infection, she also had sharp pains every time she took a breath because now her chest tissue was swollen with fluid which rubbed against her ribs. Very, very painful.
Katarina’s temperature was over 103 as she fought the infection. Her heart rate raced as she gasped for air.
Very scary for her – very scary for us. A tense time.
Katarina needed surgery – fast. We were told that when an infection holds near the ribs, antibiotics cannot get there because there aren’t enough blood vessels to deliver the drugs. So, pus and illness gather, the body creates a wall around it for protection and that nasty mass continues to grow… and then the patient gets abscesses in the ribs and the ‘infection protection’ created by the body actually suffocates them (my layman’s description…).
For our daughter, timing was everything. In these rare cases of pneumonia with infection that was going off the rails, speed was everything. We had to act fast.
Katarina was put into surgery the next day and the doctors drained her lungs and then cleared out all the infection and abscesses with a micro vacuum. It took 3 hours to get all of the fast growing, massive infection sites. She was in the ICU for over a week with IVs full of several different and strong antibiotics. She was sent home with a harsh regimen of more antibiotics.
It was at least a month before she felt somewhat normal. She still coughs. The Doctors say it will take a year for the lungs to repair themselves of the necrotic tissue.
But, she will live. (huge sigh)
This story I just told you is EXACTLY the same as the story I am about to tell you.
Except this time, the patient is a mare.
For Katarina, I am bringing you AMBROSIA.
Once again BHFER was called about a mare who was found roaming a rural street in Florida.
A neighbor had taken her in and tried to feed her, but clearly the mare was in big trouble and the good neighbor didn’t know what to do.
The neighbor said the mare was really bad, so BHFER went out into the darkness, drove into the netherlands to see what they could do for this mare.
Upon arrival, it was clear the mare needed medical attention. She was given Banamine and an emergency call was sent to the local vet. The vet agreed to meet them in them in the morning.
The next morning, the local vet told BHFER that this mare had pleurisy (the exact same diagnosis as our daughter, Katarina) and suggested that the mare be put down.
BHFER thought the mare deserved a chance. She was drinking still and did eat from their hands.
So, BHFER went back to the Rescue, hooked up the trailer and returned to get Ambrosia, hoping she would survive the ride.
Ambrosia made it back to BHFER where their vet, Dr. Ryan, was waiting to receive her.
Yes, she had pneumonia. Yes, her heart rate was extremely elevated and she had a very high fever. Yes, if her lungs were drained, this 13-year old mare would feel better. (Exactly the same conditions as our daughter.)
Of course, BHFER would give her that chance.
So, off she went to the hospital for the draining procedure (exactly like our daughter…).
Ambrosia was fed and watered well for a day to see how she did with ample groceries.
She did well. She ate and drank as much as was offered. A good sign. However, clearly, the mare was in dire straights – yet she had the will to live…
So, the decision was made that with her will to live it was worth the risk to transport her to the equine hospital immediately to have the fluids drained from her lungs.
HERE IS WHERE THE STORY DIFFERS…
With our daughter, the surgeons removed her massive abscesses from her lungs during the draining surgery.
The surgery was a big and expensive ordeal, but it saved her life.
For Ambrosia, the Rescue could not afford to do the abscess removal surgery… they could only afford her the relief of lung drainage, which was a great help to the mare, for sure.
But, it won’t save her.
PROGNOSIS – SAME AS OUR DAUGHTER –
ONLY SURGERY WILL SAVE HER LIFE…
Here is the rub.
Yes, Ambrosia is doing much better now that her lungs were drained. But, that won’t cure her.
The infection lives in her lungs and in an area inaccessible to the drugs via her blood supply – under the ribs.
The exact same diagnosis as our daughter.
This is why our daughter’s surgeons spend several hours scraping all the tissue in there and removing the infection manually. Plus keeping her in the ICU after the surgery with a strong antibiotic drip in there for good measure.
Ambrosia needs the same surgery to remove the infection manually – plus the post surgery mega antibiotics – or she won’t survive. It will eventually kill her through suffocation.
But, with the surgery, if done quickly, it will most likely save her life – just like our Katarina.
LET’S HELP AMBROSIA HAVE HER SURGERY AND LIVE – she’s halfway there…!
For me, this is personal – I went through this with my step-daughter. Katarina would have died had we not had the opportunity for this surgery.
Now, Katarina is starting 7th grade…
Clearly Ambrosia wants to live. She is improving. Let’s help BHFER with the cost of the surgery and the cost of the after care!
Let’s help this mare live out her life!
Every cent donated, as always, will be the gift of life for Ambrosia. In this case, I will take to heart personally every donation and bow my head in gratitude for our daughter. Thank you…
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