Grace and Jitterbug have been part of our barn family for many years...Grace for nearly 12 years, and Jitterbug for over 8 years. Grace and Michelle have been an irreplaceable part of everything that Equine Kingdom is that entire time, they never ever hesitate to help anytime they are needed, they are always willing to pitch in and do anything and everything for myself (Sally) and anyone else, horse or human, that needs something.....and now they need our help.
On Thursday, December 21, 2017, they arrived at the barn at 8am to find Jitterbug down on the ground in the mud, completely soaked to the skin with sweat and mud. This horse NEVER rolls - she does not like to be dirty or muddy, and is always the cleanest horse at the barn. This was a huge shock for all of us. She also has never colicked the entire time we've had her - she is one of the healthiest horses here, never had an abscess or anything. Other than an ulcer that caused her eye to be removed earlier this year, we've never had to worry about her health.
Today, that changed. We got her up and walking, cleaned her up with warm water as best as possible, and got her blanketed to get her temperature back up, called the vet immediately. Upon arrival, he checked her out, ran an ultrasound, and determined that she needed to go to NC State hospital as soon as possible. He gave her meds to keep her comfortable (they didn't help much, she was in a LOT of pain), we got her on the trailer and headed to the hospital in Raleigh.
Once we got there, they admitted her immediately and started checking everything possible - without going into tons of details, the doctor suspected twisted intestines, and the poor little mare was so uncomfortable. They gave us the option of admitting her for surgery to see what was going on inside, or having her put down.
Friends, these incredibly amazing people have never, ever asked for anything. They take care of the horses, clean stalls, refill water, administer medications, are here to help with lessons, camps, clinics, shows, and every single other event we have ever had here. They are at the barn nearly every single day. They refuse to accept any kind of discount on board or lessons. They give, and give, and give, and have for many, many years.
They cannot afford this surgery. They spent thousands earlier this year to get Jitterbug's eye taken care of (which she has fully recovered from and is in excellent health and very happy!). Their family does not have the money to drop on this kind of surgery and recovery. The doctor at NC state told us that when people can't afford the surgery costs, the horses generally just get put down.
We go to extremes for the people we love....and the animals too. Jitterbug has a good chance at recovery. She went in for surgery, Jitterbug had a fatty tumor that had grown and wrapped around a section of her small intestines and killed about a two foot section of the intestines. Thankfully, it was in an area that they were able to remove it and attach the still-good sections back together (sorry, I don't know all the technical terms).
Her prognosis is good, the doctor was happy with how the surgery went. This horse is a FIGHTER. Never have I seen someone love their horse more than Grace loves Jitterbug. If any horse ever had a chance to be healed by love and care alone, this would be it...but unfortunately she has a long road ahead of her. She'll be at NC State for at least a week to recover. If her body heals well and she gets to come home after that, she'll have about a 3 month stall rest/recovery - and if she gets through that, then she will be totally fine and have an excellent quality of life just as before.
Please, Please, Please help these wonderful people. Help this family. Let's show them how much the community loves them. They are SUCH good people. They are absolutely one of the best families I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, and they never do anything but GIVE.
If you can afford to send FIVE DOLLARS, please do. If you can afford more, please consider doing so. If you can't afford anything at all, please share the HECK out of this post. I know it's a lot to ask, I I HATE asking for money. But it's not for me. It's for a 17 year old girl with her first and only love. It's for a girl that loves her horse more than anything in the world. A girl that wants to give her favorite thing on earth one more shot at life before giving up. Who can put a price on that, honestly?
I'm so sorry to have to ask. But please, please, help any way you can. I know it's Christmas and money is tight for many people. But let's do what we can, shall we? Let's show them what the horse community is made of. Every little bit helps to save a life and the hearts that are connected to it.
Thank you so much!!
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