Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The story continues....

Throughout that night, I paced and waited. The call finally came at close to 3 AM. It was Bobbi. "They have been found", she said. "How are they?" I asked. "Oh, Fran, Suki is hurt pretty badly", replied Bobbi, and she started to cry. "Whisby, seems ok." "Does Suki need to be put down, Bobbi? Please tell me the truth!" I pleaded. "I don't know Fran. Dr. X is looking at her now."
The two horses had been found several miles from the barn, standing side by side in a field. A veterinarian examined them, and someone went to get a trailer.

I spoke to Dr. X next. "How is she?" I asked. "Does she need to be put down?". I kept asking people this for two reasons. Whatever was best for Suki, needed to be done. I did not want her to suffer. But I also wanted someone to reassure me and tell me that she would be OK. No one would commit answers to these questions. Dr. X told me that Suki was badly burned and would need to go to New Bolton Center (the large animal hospital associated with the University of Pennsylvania vet school). Stories that came back from that night included a couple who was driving and saw two horses, a chestnut and a bay run across the road...Suki was the bay. Her chestnut coat was burned so badly that she appeared bay...
Again my hands were tied. How would I get Suki to New Bolton. Fortunately my wonderful friend Bobbi and her husband offered to drive Suki to New Bolten, over an hour away. They first dropped off Whisby at another barn, then made the journey to Kennett Square. There are simply no words to describe how grateful I was. Bobbi selflessly left her own horse at a strange barn to do this for my horse.

So the waiting began again. At some point I dozed off and was awakened by my cell phone. 5AM: Dr. Kelly Kalf, the admitting veterinarian had evaluated Suki. "Please tell bad is she? Does she need to be put down?" Why do we always ask questions whose answers we really do not want to know! "She is stable", Dr. Kalf told me. "Let's see how she does." She gave me a few details, but I honestly do not remember what she said during that call.

At 7:00 AM I dropped off my son at preschool. Ordinarily Isaiah only attended school for a half day on Fridays, but I asked if he could stay the entire day, not knowing if I would be home by noon to take him home.

My friend D called and offered to go with me, because she thought it would be better for me not to go alone. Thank goodness for good friends!

The drive seemed to take an eternity, yet I dreaded going into the hospital. Upon our arrival, we entered the reception area. "I am here to see my horse Suki", I said to the receptionist. "She was in a fire." Then I began to cry. The receptionist came out from behind the desk and wrapped her arms around me. It was the warmest, most genuine gesture, and I needed it desparately. X told us that Suki was in ICU and telephoned the unit to tell them that I had arrived. "Someone will be over shortly to bring you over", she said.

I could feel myself beginning to shake as we made our way to the ICU. Donning protective gowns and booties I was led in to see Suki for the first time since the fire......

To be continued.....

Suki had a lovely roll in the mud yesterday! Fortunately she was wearing a full sheet and only managed to get some mud on her neck and legs. Skin graft area totally intact. It has healed beautifully. Just need to make sure that the skin is tough enough for rolling before we eliminate the special protective garment from under her other clothing.

This morning she was a happy girl, but anxious to get out!

I am trying to find additional ways to get her involved with other human groups to offer horse/human therapy. Suki seems to really inspire everyone she meets!

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