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Patient Success Story: Winnie

Posted by: Cindy Rice

Winnie
3-year-old English Bulldog
Owned by Andy Linn and family
Alpharetta, Ga.

Editor's note: Winnie's story was written by her owner Andy Linn.

Winnie is a very sweet and loving bulldog with a heart of gold. Unfortunately, she was born with a chronic heart condition (pulmonary stenosis). We learned she had a heart murmur from our family veterinarian, the first week after bringing her into our home. From there, we were referred to the UGA Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The fabulous cardiology team diagnosed the cause of her heart murmur and offered us hope. At age 1, Winnie successfully underwent a balloon valvuloplasty, a procedure to widen her narrowed heart valve.

Yet shortly before age 2, her heart valve narrowed again. A second balloon procedure was risky and almost futile. So her cardiology team met with the Hospital’s oncology team to explore the viability of treating Winnie with targeted radiation to help kill the cell tissue growing over her heart valve. They concluded that Winnie was a perfect match for this clinical trial, which utilized radiation technology with that of pulmonary valvuloplasty, and we agreed.

Thanks to these respective teams and their entire staff, Winnie lives a full and happy life, and will celebrate her fourth birthday in 2016.  It is with the utmost gratitude that Winnie and I recognize and thank the faculty, staff and students at the UGA VTH for their love, compassion and expertise. Thank you!