Story by Marcia Hill Gossard ’99, ’04
The ICU staff saw that Chester was
having trouble sleeping with the bright
lights and all the tests, so they made an
eye mask to help him relax. He also
received round-the-clock care.
Roya E. and Gyan H. of Vancouver, British Columbia, wanted a cat. So they did what many animal lovers do-they went to their local shelter to adopt an adult animal in need of a home. They fell in love with an orange tabby, and named him "Chester" (he had previously been called "Cheetoh," but they thought he looked more like a "Chester"). On January 30, 2012-Chester's adoption day-his life changed forever.
Roya and Gyan noticed right away that Chester didn't seem to play like a young cat would. He had little energy, his breathing was not quite right, and his body also had an unusual shape. After a few trips to the veterinarian it was discovered that Chester had a diaphragmatic hernia (a tear in the diaphragm) that caused his internal organs-stomach, small intestines, liver, spleen-to move into his chest, which affected his breathing. Because he also had a healed pelvic fracture, it was thought that Chester had been hit by a car.
They drove Chester from Canada to the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital where Dr. Might told them about the risks and benefits of having surgery to correct the diaphragmatic hernia. He also told them that the surgery would cost between $3,000 and $4,000. As graduate students, that kind of surgery seemed financially out of reach. Dr. Might realized they would need help, so he told us about the Good Samaritan Fund. Roya and Gyan received $1000 to partially pay for Chester's medical expenses, which ended up totaling nearly $5000.
"Our doctors were amazing," said Roya. "They worked harder than we could have hoped they would to save Chester. We definitely owe his life to them and all of the staff in the ICU."