Monday, April 19, 2010

Amigo Returns Home!

Photo by Crissy Wilson - Full Story

By Angela Starke
Posted April 18, 2010

'Miraculous recovery': Horse impaled by tree limb heads home with big bill but lots of love

During the three months Galapago Amigo was treated for a devastating injury at the University of Tennessee’s College of Veterinary Medicine, he made nearly 8,900 Facebook fans, gained more than 100 pounds and accrued veterinary bills of more than $30,000.

That's the largest tally for one animal's care on record, clinic staff acknowledges; but thanks to friends and donors, Amigo's owner won't have to foot the bill.

"Amigo wouldn't be alive without the support of so many," said Amigo's owner Gary Sanderson. "He's coming home to my house, but he has 8,900 owners."

Amigo left the Large Animal Clinic on Sunday to return to his 110-acre farm in Union County after a celebration marking his progress since Jan. 17. That's when the chestnut endurance Arabian was impaled by a tree limb. Amigo arrived at the clinic, the branch still in his chest cavity, and was given a 2 percent chance to live.

"He's made a miraculous recovery," Sanderson said. "I didn't think he was going to make it. The fact that he's coming home now is a blessing."

Sanderson was an emotional wreck, he said, after finding the 2-inch-wide, 3-foot-long limb lodged into Amigo's left side. The horse, which competes and is ranked nationally with the American Endurance Riding Conference, had broken two ribs and was near death.


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