for Excellence by a Veterinarian in the Treatment of
Canine Autoimmune/Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia
The winner of the 2007 Meisha’s Hope Award is Dr. Kristin Hall. Dr. Hall works out of the Marathon Veterinary Hospital in Marathon, FL and was nominated for the Meisha’s Hope Award by Bill Youmans. Mr. Youmans' nomination of Dr. Hall for the 2007 Meisha's Hope Award is reproduced below Dr. Hall’s photo.
Dr. Kristin Hall
”On January 31, 2007 my terrier, Maxie, and I arrived in the Florida Keys. She had just had her annual check up that day in Boynton Beach and all seemed well with the exception of some slight yellowing of the blood sample. I was to call Maxie’s veterinarian the next morning. That night I noticed Maxie had trouble jumping in the bed. The next day, after her early morning walk, she turned down food, water and treats. When she became lethargic and unresponsive, I felt something was very wrong. I called Maxie’s veterinarian who suggested she be seen immediately. The blood work from the previous day had not arrived as yet, but I was assured the report would be in before I could get Maxie to the veterinarian in the Keys. I rushed Maxie to the Marathon Veterinary Hospital in Marathon Florida where she was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia. This is where one of the most miraculous events of my life begins.
”On February 1st, Maxie saw Dr. Kristin Hall at the Marathon Veterinary Hospital. Blood testing revealed Maxie’s PCV was in the low thirties. When blood work from the animal hospital in Boynton Beach arrived, comparisons showed the numbers were on the decline. By late afternoon, Maxie’s PCV had fallen into the high teens and by late evening her PCV was in the low teens. At midnight, after another decline in PCV, a decision was made to give Maxie a blood transfusion. On February 2nd, her numbers rose, but her appearance was declining and her actions were not at all Maxie like.
”After a good day on February 3rd, Maxie started to decline once again. This time it was a rapid decline and late in the evening on February 4th, Dr. Hall ordered another blood transfusion. Maxie seemed to react favorable. The next two days proved that Maxie was in for the fight of her life. She was failing again. On February 8th Maxie was in trouble. She had had another blood transfusion. She had some strength, but was failing fast. Maxie was dying. This is where Maxie’s story becomes one of the most miraculous happenings I have witnessed. Dr. Hall and I discussed Maxie’s condition and it became apparent that our options were becoming fewer as the hours passed. During our last conversation on the 7th, Dr. Hall stated that Maxie was not suffering so she wanted to try some additional procedures. I could see, by the fire in her eyes, that Dr. Hall was no where near the end of her fight for Maxie’s life. She summoned her first line of resources, the staff at Marathon Veterinary Hospital. A to-do list was quickly established and each veterinarian, as well as the head technician spent several hours identifying the additional medications needed, through consultations with experts from different parts of the country. After several hours spent locating the medications in Boston, Philadelphia and Hollywood, Florida the plan was in motion.
”One doctor secured the needed whole blood in Hollywood and arranged a courier to fight the South Florida highways. The blood was found at 2:00 PM on the 8th and at 7:00 PM it arrived. The Oxyglobin from Boston and the IVGG from Philadelphia were due in on the morning of February 9th. Late in the afternoon of the 8th, Maxie’s condition started to take a turn for the worse. A plea had been sent out to the hospitals in South Florida, but there was no IVGG available. Dr. Hall would not accept this. She knew Maxie needed some IVGG to last the night. She felt Maxie had done her part in this fight and deserved another chance. Again, she summoned the staff. One doctor felt there had to be some IVGG close by. He placed a call to another hospital and explained Maxie’s condition and immediate need. The hospital agreed to help, which gave Maxie the time she needed until the additional medications arrived.
”I am happy to report Maxie is currently doing fine. After several months of extensive treatment for AIHA, she is currently being treated for a thyroid problem, diabetes and allergies. The allergies were pre-existing. The treatment plan for Maxie requires a lot of attention. She has had some episodes connected to her allergies when she has been away from the Keys. On one occasion, a hospital had to call Dr. Hall at three in the morning. She was able to talk the veterinarian through a treatment to stabilize Maxie, since the veterinarian thought Maxie was dying and suggested putting her down. On another occasion Maxie inhaled a strong cleaner in a grooming shop and had to be rushed to a hospital. Dr. Hall was able to talk the veterinarian through the procedures to stabilize Maxie as well.
”I would like to nominate Dr. Kristin Hall for the 2007 Meisha’s Hope Award because not only is Dr. Hall a great DVM, she is one of the most compassionate individuals I have met. Dr. Hall spent two weeks devoting her every spare moment, including her evenings, days off and weekends to Maxie’s recovery process. In addition to managing her other patients she had the task of managing me! From her first look at Maxie, she could tell something was wrong. When I did not understand the signs that Dr. Hall could see, she explained clearly to me the disease Maxie had and the condition she was in. She assured me there were treatments to correct this condition, but she was honest from the start; this would be difficult. Dr. Hall never offered false hope. She always conveyed a positive sense of hope and quickly trained me on the correct actions to have when in the presence of Maxie. As the treatments progressed, Dr. Hall encouraged me to spend as much time with Maxie as possible. She found a quite place within the practice for Maxie and me to be together, and arranged for someone to be with Maxie through the night. Maxie was never alone. When it was time to take Maxie home, Dr. Hall allowed me to take her home during the evening after her last PCV and have her back at the veterinary hospital by 7:30 the next morning. She gave me encouragement and training as to what to look for when Maxie was with me full time.
”I am sure Maxie's will to live and Dr. Hall's devotion to her case, are the main reasons Maxie is still alive. Dr. Hall's continued research into this awful disease is most impressive to me. It is difficult to find people of her caliber in business today. My positions in my professional life have placed me in associations with many people that are considered heroes in today's world. After watching Maxie and Dr. Hall work through this process, I must say they are my true Hero's. Their admiration for each other in and out of Dr. Hall's office is something to see. It is almost impossible to place into words my feelings for Dr. Hall. The extra miles she walked with Maxie are evidence of Dr. Hall’s professionalism, unyielding commitment and passionate method towards her profession. As I stated early in this nomination, this was one of the most miraculous events of my life. In actuality, I believe I have found a most miraculous individual in Dr. Kristin Hall.”
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