Benjamin's Medical Memorial Fund

Hello Friends, It has been over a month since I posted an update, my apologies. It’s just been too emotional for me to write the story I’m about to tell. As you may know, my sweetest boy, Benjamin, was in emergency care in mid-February to hopefully save his life. Unfortunately his health challenges were too great. He is now at peace.

His doctors, in particular Dr. Strauss at the AERA Animal Emergency Clinic in Fairfield gave him outstanding care and did everything they could to save him. I visited him every day and the staff was compassionate and caring both to him and to me. But Benny’s health never fully recovered. The antibiotics were not working, even though they tried several. His fever only went down because of Cortisone injections, and these were also given to him to hopefully entice him to eat. But he was still not eating, even when I was there to spoon feed him. They began feeding him with a syringe, but he had absolutely no interest in food. At one point, he had to be placed in an oxygen chamber to help him breathe clearly.

The FIV had compromised his immune system to the point where he could not fight off the infections, which otherwise would have been curable. He also developed something in his lungs which they could only identify through very invasive and expensive tests. There were number of possible diagnoses, including FIP and lymphoma, but in the long run, they could not make a definitive diagnosis. Dr. Strauss called me on February 22nd to say they could do no more for him.

So, I went with my best friend and we said goodbye. He was so happy to see me and we spent a long time together. When it was time, I was able to sing to him and hold him until the end. He was purring the whole time. Then the most extraordinary thing happened. He was physically gone, yet he was still purring, and kept doing so for what seemed like two minutes. It was bittersweet, but at least I knew he left this world in peace.

Unfortunately, the cost of all this added up very quickly and I am now left with a veterinary bill of almost $9,000.00, adding my personal vet bills to the emergency ones. If you are able to donate even a few dollars, I would be deeply grateful to you. At the very least, please share this fundraiser on Facebook and other social media. My sincere thanks to you.

I’m leaving the original post for this page below, for those who would like to know more about what happened to Benny, and why he was so special to me. Thank you for your donations, they have made this devastating time a little more bearable. I am deeply grateful to you all.

With love,

Original Post…
My sweetest boy, Benjamin is in emergency veterinary care. He is very ill at the moment and his doctors are working around the clock to evaluate and treat his illnesses. His situation is critical and he has needed urgent care for the past few days. Needless to say the costs are going up fast. 

Benny is a feral cat who I rescued four years ago. He was an outdoor cat who I believe was abandoned. I could not bring him in at first because of my other cats, so he lived in my garage. I moved in October, and took him with me. He has been an indoor only cat since then.  As for his personality, you would never know this guy was ever a feral cat. He is devoted, loving, and one of the most grateful animals I've ever known. 

Last week, I brought him to the vet because he was not eating for a couple days. My vet said he had a fever, gave him antibiotics and had his blood drawn for testing. The results were devastaging. Benny is FIV positive. This is not a death sentence, but it does come with serious medical challenges. He also has toxoplasmosis and coronavirus, both of which are treatable. I began giving him meds for this, but after a few days he had not improved, so I brought him to the emergency animal hospital in Fairfield. 

The staff there is amazing. They love Benny and they are doing everything they can to help him. But his medical costs are already approaching $5,000. He has had blood tests, X-rays, and today is getting two ultrasound tests. The doctors are still working on a full diagnosis, so we're not out of the woods yet. Unfortunately, the emergency clinic does not offer payment plans. So I am in need of immediate help to keep up Benny's medical care and to save his life. 

It's absolutley heartbreaking to see him suffering like this. He is the most gentle soul. Even the staff at the clinic has fallen in love with him. I know they are doing everything they can to save him. Can you help as well?
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Jefferson Harman LaSala 
Lincoln Park, NJ