Noah had not been himself around the holidays (November/December of 2018). He had a general intolerance for too much activity which was in stark contrast to his usual disposition.
We took him in to see his regular doctor and after a quick listen to his heartbeat it was discovered that he had a heart murmur! That observation threw us into PANIC MODE. We immediately scheduled an appointment with a cardiologist. After an echo that fateful Tuesday the doctor came back to us with the diagnosis of M V D. We were dumbfounded confused and heartbroken. The cardiologist did tell us that surgery to correct EXISTED but as far as she knew it was only in Japan! She pulled a bag of meds from her pocket and said this would help Noah and keep him comfortable.
After tears, long hard sobs, prayers and with great effort I began poking around on the Internet. I found the Mighty Hearts Project and immediately signed up for the Florida project that had not yet taken off. In the interim we were consumed with Noah's ability to stay well long enough for the long long wait. Nate Estes helped guide me through the nightmare obstacle course and shortly thereafter we set forth on the daunting task of preparing for surgery for Noah out of the country. We decided on London after having a phone consultation with Dr. Dan Brockman and Poppy Bristow.
We were completely freaked out when we were told that October 11 would be the fastest appointment for surgery, shortly thereafter September 2 was given to us because of a sudden cancellation. As we were already in frequent dialogue with the R V C - they then offered us June 11 for a surgery date (we got about a week's notice). We were stressed financially to make it all happen and to get everything in order such as, the USDA paperwork, blood tests, type, echoes, airfare, hotel, request (more like demand) for time off from work - but it all worked out!
Dr. Brockman and Dr. Poppy Bristow saved our baby boy Noah. During the day of surgery I stayed inside a church begging and pleading for God not to take him from us. I visited every second I could. Slept next to him for every visit every day for as long as they would let me until they had to throw me out.
Noah came out of that surgery repaired! His heart had been surgically edited and he had an almost immediate change in demeanor. His follow up blood work - great. His follow up echo - a decrease in size of his heart and left ventricle. Is he perfect yet - no. But with lots of tender loving care, close monitoring, education (for us) about what to do what not to do ... holistic intervention etc. - he is doing pretty amazing! We hope to keep him going in that direction. His 2nd echo is in September - we will keep you posted.
We feel as though we were given a great gift from God. Noah is our child (as are our other fur and feather babies). There is NOTHING we would not have done to try to save him. We are just grateful for Dr. Brockman and his team. Grateful for Nate Estes. Grateful for this group and this website. But most of all - grateful to God for saving our Noah.
God bless us all and all of you. I pray everyone's fur babies have the love they so richly deserve, the chance to be loved and for a long healthy happy life.
Breed: Bichon Frise Age: 11 Diagnosis: Stage C Surgery Date: June 11th, 2019 Hometown: Illinois Owner: Patricia & Joseph Evitts Primary Vet: Dr Lisa Weaver, River Heights Veterinary Clinic Cardiologist: Dr. Lydia Soydan , VCA Aurora Animal Hospital Surgical Team: RVC, Drs. Dan Brockman & Poppy Bristow