Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Miracle of the dog who was hit by 80mph train and survived (thanks to £14,000 of surgery)


Up and running: Tyler the Gordon Setter has made a miraculous recovery after being hit by an express train

With a habit of bounding away at the first scent of adventure, he was always a bit of a handful.

But Tyler the Gordon Setter’s curiosity nearly cost him his life when it took him into the path of a train.

Struck at 80mph, he sustained multiple injuries, the most serious of which was a smashed pelvis which had separated from his spine.

His owners, Leanne and Andy Hill, feared he would have to be put down.

Incredibly, three years later, after £14,000 of treatment including three operations and swimming lessons, the five-year-old is back on his paws.

Only half the medical costs were paid by insurance, but the Hills think their pet was worth every penny.

‘It’s an absolute miracle he survived,’ said Mrs Hill, 42, a housewife from Waltham Abbey, Essex.

‘When a railway worker said he had been hit we were told we may never even find his remains. He is a wonderful dog and he has been through so much to get to this stage.

‘It has been hard work for all of us but it is amazing to see him back to his old self and running around again.’

A special stroke: Tyler is put through his paces in the swimming pool by vet Jo Wimpenny

Bionic dog: An X-ray shows Tyler's broken bones and the brace and pins that were used to repair his leg

Tyler and his sister Billie, were being walked by Mr Hill’s sister when the accident happened at Cheshunt station, Hertfordshire, in May 2007.

Mrs Hill, whose husband is a project manager, added: ‘They had always been quite mischievous and did sometimes wander off. But we’d never had any problems.

‘That morning we were resting at home after a holiday when we suddenly got a phone call at 7am from the station master saying he had Billie in his office but our other dog had been hit.

‘Andy raced to the station and was told he probably wouldn’t find Tyler but he walked up and down the line and suddenly spotted him on the sidings.’

Tyler was conscious but unable to move. The couple were told he probably survived because the Stansted Express train was going so fast that the bow wave of high pressure air at the front effectively cushioned him.

Tyler spent five days in intensive care before he was transferred to another vet’s in Hendon for an operation to screw his pelvis back on to his spine.

A few days later he had another operation to fix his left leg which was badly broken, followed by a third procedure to pin broken toes on his other leg.

Tyler with his owner Leanne Hill: 'We were told that if the train had been going slower he would have been killed'

After a week he was allowed home, where Mrs Hill, who has a five-year-old daughter, Florence, spent the next four months sleeping downstairs next to him.

‘You couldn’t leave him, he was in a lot of pain. It was touch-and-go. He got so many infections and he lost a lot of weight. We wondered if we had done the right thing or if we should have had him put down.’

In the end the Hills decided to send Tyler to an animal rehabilitation centre in Hertfordshire where he began hydrotherapy three times a week. Five months later he was able to take his first tentative steps in the garden.

‘People think we are mad but it has all been worth it,’ added Mrs Hill.

‘He is back to his old self now. He looks a little wonky, but from a distance you would never know.’

source: dailymail

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