updated 10/21/2009 AT 12:33 PM ET
•originally published 10/15/2009 AT 3:30 PM ET
Thanks to the kindness of a complete stranger, and the generous donations and support from individuals around the world, one lucky puppy underwent life-saving surgery Thursday in an effort to give the youngster an improved quality of life.
Jonah is an 8-month-old Chihuahua that was discovered on Sept. 7 by a Good Samaritan at a bottle-recycling center at a Boston-area Stop & Shop. Immediately transported to the Massachusetts SPCA–Angell adoption center, staffers were fairly certain Jonah had a severe brain condition.
“We knew right away that he needed immediate medical care,” Brian Adams, MSPCA-Angell spokesperson tells PEOPLEPets.com. “An MRI showed us it was definitely a severe case of hydrocephalus.”
Hydrocephalus, which is commonly referred to as “water in the brain,” is a congenital disease that causes a build up of fluid in the ventricles of the brain, and creates severe pressure and swelling. In addition, Jonah is believed to have cortical blindness. Even with all these medical troubles stacked up against him, Jonah doesn’t let it slow him down.
“With everything that’s wrong with him, it doesn’t seem to phase him much,” Dr. Andrew Farabaugh, Jonah’s neurologist and temporary foster father says. “He just tries to go about his day and make the best of it. And that’s just very endearing.”
Jonah’s surgery, which took place this morning and went very well, almost didn’t happen. Though Dr. Farabaugh took care of Jonah soon after his rescue, and monitored his medication early on, but financially he could not afford the brain surgery or maintain the canine’s long-term care. So, Dr. Farabaugh worked with the MSPCA-Angell administrators, who agreed to try and raise funds. Though they haven’t totaled the donations yet, Adams says, “I know that we hit the mark, we did. And we surpassed it.”
“He’s got such an amazing spirit for all he’s been through,” adds Dr. Farabaugh. “I felt like it was worth it. If there was any way we could try to help him, we should try.”
Without the procedure, Jonah would have undoubtedly passed before his time. Now, he’ll be given a fighting chance to do more of his favorite things, like running around and playing with other puppies. While Jonah’s owners have not yet been found, local law enforcement officers are investigating the situation in hopes of finding any information relating to Jonah’s abandonment.
“He’s an incredibly strong fighter,” Adams says. “You can see that he is not giving up. He wants to live.”
If you’d like to make a donation to Jonah’s cause, or simply stay up-to-date on his progress, visit www.mspca.org/jonah.
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