On March 15th of this year, 1½ year old Maggie was hiking with her family in Asheville over the notorious Helen’s Bridge.
The story goes that Helen was distraught after her daughter died in a fire, and Helen hanged herself from that very bridge. Passersby have reported seeing her ghost walk along the bridge inquiring about her daughter.
On this particular day, no one was worried about Helen’s whereabouts, but terror struck when Maggie unexpectedly jumped off the bridge to land on the asphalt more than forty feet below. Understandably, her mom and dad were horrified and raced to her side. Maggie was alive, but she was injured and in tremendous pain. Kevin and Carrie were visiting from out of town, and they did some research to find the local emergency veterinary hospital. They carefully picked up Maggie and sped to R.E.A.C.H.
Upon their arrival, Dr. Krauskopf did an exam on Maggie. She had some painful areas, and she was having labored breathing. An x-ray revealed that she had bruised lungs and a pneumothorax, which means that air was seeping from an injury in her lung tissue into her chest cavity. The doctor could manage the pain with medicines, but the lung injury was very troubling.
Maggie was taken into surgery to have a chest tube placed to help with the extra air and ease her breathing effort. The procedure gave her some relief, but her lungs were not healing as expected. Dr. Krauskopf consulted with a specialist, and they decided to try a new procedure to speed the healing called an “autologous blood patch.” The process involved injecting Maggie’s own blood into her chest cavity to cause an accelerated healing reaction for her lungs. And IT WORKED! Maggie soon began breathing easier, and after a five day stay at the hospital with round the clock care, she was transferred to her hometown vet for one more day of observation.
Today, Maggie is doing well. She has recovered, and all that awaits her is a little dental work because she fractured a couple of teeth in the fall. Maybe Helen doesn’t haunt the bridge. Maybe she provided a cushion for the fall that day and a miracle for sweet Maggie.