Dog owner Jason Garrett is cashing out his 401K and digging into his life savings in order to pay for surgery to save his dog’s life.
Garrett’s 12-year-old miniature Schnauzer, Lola, was diagnosed with mitral valve disease, Garrett explained in a recent YouTube video. The disease — which is common in dogs — affects her lungs and heart, and a doctor gave her about eight to nine months to live.
“We had an episode in November where she came back from a walk and she fainted … She has an enlarged heart because she has a damaged mitral valve,” Garrett told KGO-TV.
After Lola’s diagnosis, Garrett said he learned about a canine open-heart surgery procedure pioneered by Japanese doctor Masami Uechi. Because the surgery is so specialized and only Uechi and the few surgeons he’s trained know how do it, it’s expensive — $45,000, Garrett said in the video.
“The downside is it’s about $45,000,” he told KGO-TV. “I’ve already cashed out my 401K and using every penny of my savings, and I’m also looking into selling my car if need be.”
Related: Growing Up With a Dog Can Improve Children’s Health, Happiness
Lola’s surgery has been scheduled for this summer, while Uechi is at the University of Florida.
Garrett has also set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the procedure. He explained that he struggles with severe depression and bipolar disorder, and Lola has been the reason he is still able to “survive and thrive.”
“Lola has undoubtedly saved my life countless times,” he said in the YouTube video. “As you can imagine I would do absolutely anything to save her.”
“Anything for Lola,” he added to KGO-TV. “She’s family.”