A Christmas Miracle: Gratitude
Gratitude, appropriately named, is one of many who need you this holiday season, and whose story could have ended very differently.
Gratitude arrived at FieldHaven Feline Center the week of Thanksgiving in rough shape. She’s only six months old yet was diagnosed with a diaphragmatic hernia—a hole in her diaphragm, the muscle between her chest and abdominal cavities. The hole was so big that Gratitude’s organs were squished up next to her heart and lungs!
Often a diaphragmatic hernia is caused by trauma and isn’t too complicated to repair. But in Gratitude’s case, the vets don’t know what caused it, not to mention its larger than they typically see. So, this makes the surgery much more complicated, not to mention, risky.
Here’s the thing. Gratitude was—is—so full of love, life, and personality that we can’t but help give her every chance to live. So, with Dr. Sanchez leading the team, surgery was scheduled at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine.
Her surgery took place earlier this month, and while extensive and complicated, it was a success. She required a short stay in the ICU on oxygen, yet that charming personality continued to shine—so much so that it was very hard to get a good listen to her heart because she didn’t stop purring!
Gratitude needed one more procedure to repair a symblepharon in her eye. That’s a fancy term meaning her eyelid, conjunctiva, and cornea were all stuck together. Her post-op for both surgeries was perfect, leading to her being promptly discharged. To see her up and about, playing, purring, and walking this soon after such a massive procedure is an inspiration to us all!
Gratitude came back to FieldHaven but was there for one night when Dr. Ahrens from UC Davis reached out. She was captivated after having met Gratitude at the hospital and hearing her story. Her son Ben wanted to do a “cat fundraising project” for FieldHaven so when he heard about Gratitude… well, the rest, as they say, is history!
Gratitude is now home with the Ahrens family for foster care and we’re all pretty confident she is never leaving. How lucky is she?! Her very own personal veterinarian and a houseful of loving caregivers.
Our hearts are full for Gratitude and the dozens of people who came together to make her life possible in a very last-minute, hectic effort right in the middle of the holiday season.
Gratitude’s medical needs were not easy or inexpensive. It was risky. We weren’t even sure she would make it, but her will to survive gave us the push to try. This holiday season, Gratitude is literally our mascot for everything. We have such gratitude for all of you, and we hope you will show your gratitude to us by donating a small amount to help us cover the costs of her surgery.
We are so grateful to everyone at UC Davis for getting her admitted so quickly and into surgery, for being so compassionate, and for keeping us updated every step of the way. We share these stories with you because you ask for them, and we couldn’t ask for a better village to help us make such an impact on the lives that need it the most.
P.S. Thank you for your support! When you donate to FieldHaven this holiday season, Gratitude is exactly what you will get. Meowy Catmas and Happy Pawlidays from our family to yours!