Hero is a rescued calf who was found in Virginia in April 2013 with a frostbitten tail and back legs. Kitty Martin’s Selah Ranch All Animal Rescue from Greenville took Hero in. As reported by KAGS TV, Kitty contacted numerous veterinarians so the calf could get the treatment he needed.
Eventually Texas A&M vet school agreed to see Hero and assess his condition. "If they felt that it was against the quality of life that he would put down... And I had no idea whether he was going to walk out of here or not, but I loved him that much to take a chance," Ms. Martin said.
After the quarter ton calf made the trip from Virginia to College Station, Texas in November, he was not in good shape. Martin told the station, "We almost lost him along the way. He went critical. He came in, he was in ICU for a day or two, I believe, here." At the end of the month Hero pulled through and the surgery was a success.
Dr. Ashlee Watts, Assistant Professor of Large Animal Surgery at Texas A&M said, "We got totally healthy skin to cover the whole bottom of the stump. We also were able to bring the tendons around so that we had a nice cushion so that it wasn't bone on skin touching the prosthetic.” This was the first time Texas A&M put two prosthetic legs on a large animal.
Martin is overjoyed saying that she’s never loved an animal as much as Hero, and told KBTX News 3, “I'm amazed and I'm pleased and this is the best dadgum school in the world in my opinion." Martin has plans for Hero saying, "I'm just excited for his future. I want him to work with wounded warriors and children with special needs. I think everything he's been through and the spirit that he's come through everything. I think he'd be an encouragement to people.”
Hero’s outcome was possible through advancements in veterinary medicine but he’s not the only animal that has benefited from modern technology. Recently Dudly the duckling battled back from injuries caused by a fight with a combative chicken and was able to walk with the help of a 3D printed leg. Da Hei, a Siberian Husky in Dalian, China, received four prosthetic legs from a caring veterinarian after he was dropped off and left by two men. Even a tiny piglet named Chris P. Bacon was able to get around despite a birth defect rendering his hind legs inoperable. Video of the piglet scurrying around using a homemade wheelchair warmed the hearts of more than 1.8 million YouTube viewers around the world.