Sunday, May 10, 2015

Saving Tyrion Lannister - It was a good day

To say today was a great day would be an understatement.

First off, it's Mother's Day.  I got to spend the day with my super cool almost 9 year old!  We really needed each other this was a rough one.

But it was a good day.

A good day that could have spelled sheer disaster.

Today was the day our precious kitty, Tyrion, underwent what could have been the final step in our journey to save him.

Dr. Clarow, the main vet who has been working with us on Tyrion's case (this kitty actual has a whole team behind him) called early (8:30am CST) to let us know the surgery was about to take place.  We had agreed upon parameters in which certain events would or would not take place.  If the catheter could not be place, Tyrion would not be woken up.  If there was no flow in the catheter, the same.  Minutes seemed like hours.  I felt sick to my stomach and was crying at the drop of a hat.

While we were waiting, Ryan called to tell me his flight from Philadelphia had been cancelled due to the weather in DFW (it was a L O N G night).  Nothing says Mother's Day like sleeping through tornado sirens at 7am! It was almost a blessing that his flight was cancelled because I can't imagine having to land in Dallas only to turn my phone on to see if the kitty you'd hung your hopes on had lived or died.

We decided the longer it was that we heard from them, the better.  For the shorter time would've meant they were unsuccessful.

Finally around 2:30, 6 hours after this had begun, the phone call came.

I held my breath, said a little prayer, and tried to hold back the tears.

When we were deciding to take this step with Tyrion, we were told that this top notch, world class facility, had only attempted this type of procedure in a cat one time.  It was not successful.  They were able to place the catheter, but adequate blood flow was not achieved. Those aren't good statistics.

Just a little side note on the U Penn veterinary facility....

These doctors work tirelessly to heal the broken animals they take care of.  They are there day & night, weekends, weekdays, from sun up until sun down.  Quite honestly, I'm not really sure when they sleep.  They spend hours on the phone with us & want ever step to be a success just as much as we do. You can tell they are invested in the patients they take care of, just as their owners are.

I answered the phone.

Tyrion DID IT.  They were able to place the catheter in the first femoral artery they tried, with no crazy corkscrewing or detours to the area in his heart where it needed to be.  Not only had the renal team nailed the procedure, but Tyrion had already been on the dialysis we longed for for nearly 20 minutes and was doing well.

My oldest friend Lisa told me yesterday...good things happen on Sundays.  (Remind me to *always* listen to her.)

Dr. Clarow sounded just as ecstatic as I was.  This time instead of tears of sadness, there were finally some tears of joy.  She said Tyrion's entire team celebrated this large victory.  Good things happen on Sundays.

Dr. Clarow called again this evening and told me that Tyrion did a full 6 hours of dialysis.  I know that sounds long, but they had to go very slowly due to his size.  They pulled off 40% of the toxins in his blood in just one treatment (they can't totally clear the blood as it would send his little body into a tailspin).  She was pleased.  We were pleased.  This is the good day we all prayed for.  All I kept thinking all day was 'good things happen on Sundays.

Tyrion will have dialysis again tomorrow.  Likely for 8 hours if he can tolerate it.  His feeling tube was removed from his nose and placed in his belly which will be much more comfortable for him.  He will likely feel pretty badly tomorrow, but come Tuesday or Wednesday, he should start feeling really good.

So for the next few weeks, he just needs to maintain, pass a few more tests to be cleared for dialysis and be matched with a donor cat.  Sounds easy, right?  Knowing Tyrion, there will be many more potholes along this path, but he is our lion.  I told y'all he was a special kitty.

Continue your prayers.  We really need and appreciate them.

Happy Mother's Day to all of my skin and fur mom friends!

It was a great day.


  1. ....And a GREAT thing did happen on Sunday! I didn't realize that text would have that much of an impact! So so happy for this little guy! I was really praying that he pulled through; just seemed like they had done so much for him NOT to! I continue to keep him in my thoughts, and hope for no more bumps along the way. Keep me posted! :)

  2. What you said couldn't have rung more true. I kept telling myself that all day!

    We told him excatly that when we "talked" to him on Sunday; too many people were counting on him to pull through and that he HAD to do it. I'm so happy that he listened. :)