On January 23, 2012, Lilly Elizabeth Hawn of Champion of My Heart, went to the vet for her routine rabies vaccination. With this one shot, Lilly's life changed into a battle for survival.
Lilly ended up hospitalized with high fever, extreme lethargy and inability to walk.
She was diagnosed with vaccine-induced meningoencephalitis (inflammation of the brain the the lining around the brain). It was a hard battle, but Lilly survived.
This was not the end of Lilly's struggle.
For over half a year she's been suffering with various effects of the initial brain inflammation, as well as side-effects of the medications she was on.
Dealing with the challenges as they cropped up, what nobody was expecting, was a major set back that would send Lilly back to the brink of death.
Lilly ended up back in intensive care. Lilly was out of it, with high fever, could not move much at all and her heart rate was dangerously low. The inflammation came back with a vengeance. This time it was the brain stem which took the hardest hit.
It didn't look that Lilly would survive. This relapse was worse than the original onset.
Against all odds, Lilly did make it through the worst.
Her battle, however, is far from over.
In the words of her neurology specialist, the inflammation has set up a camp. This will require further, rather drastic measures, to get things under control. Beside all the medications Lilly is already on, it was recommended she'd undergo specialized chemo therapy in hopes to get the inflammation under control.
There is no telling how many treatments this will take, or if it will work at all.
But Lilly is not ready to throw in the towel.
Meanwhile, financial resources have been exhausted. On top of worrying about Lilly's health, now the worry of not being able to afford the care she needs to make it and recover looms over her head also.
It is a dark place.
I've been in such dark place twice. The first time our dog did die because we could not afford to save her life. The second time, an online community of dog lovers answered our call for help. I will be forever grateful.
It was the best gift I was every given - the gift of life for my dog!
Can we pull together and help save Lilly's life? Can we be there for her?
Please read Lilly's latest update Chemo, Ho! Treating Brain Inflammation After Adverse Rabies Vaccine Reaction. To follow the full story, follow the Adverse Vaccine Reaction – Recovery from Meningoencephalomyelitis.
Lilly was a perfectly healthy dog before all this happened.
Let's give Lilly the best chance for survival and recovery.