One of Reese's home bandage changes.
Our first story and one of the many reasons we started this page is Reese Stilke.
We are proud and excited on the strides in Reese's recovery and so happy that Reese & family got their happy ending.
On August 13th, 2017, our beloved dog, Reese was hit by a car on Hwy 12. He was only 3 years old.
We believe he took off after a squirrel, and within seconds, Reese was severely hit. He was strong enough to make it back home to us, with the aid of a local firefighter who happened to see the accident take place. Once home, we saw the injuries, and rushed him to the Waukesha Emergency Vet Hospital, since that was our only option on a Sunday afternoon.
On the way to the hospital, Reese passed away in the car. We were able to pull over, and do our best at "reviving" him. We were able to clear his airway enough to get him to breathe again. But there, in my arms, was our pet, slowly dying; bleeding profusely and as I sang to him, and talked to him; we didn't know if he was going to make it the rest of the trip.
Initially, his prognosis was bleak. Reese sustained a punctured lung, internal bleeding, a bruised heart, and TBI. Not to mention, his left leg was severely de-gloved, and every paw had looked like it had been run over as well.
We were told they first had to get him stable enough with all the other injuries, before they could even address the leg, and that was nothing short of a miracle.
On Monday, things still didn't look good, and we were told, he still needed so much care, that they weren't even sure that will guarantee him recovering enough to start repairing the leg.
The leg would most likely have to be amputated, but it would only be done once he was stable enough to make it through surgery.
We prepared to have to say goodbye to our Reese. We were beyond devastated. We barely slept that night, and woke up the next morning feeling so empty and sad. But then the phone rang.Through the night, Reese made Incredible strides...the vet could barely believe it!
He did so well, weaned off all IV"s and even ate and went outside! We still believe to this day, he had a guardian angel helping him out!
We were able to get him home with us that evening, but we still had to deal with his leg.
The next morning, we called Animal Clinic of Elkhorn. I was crying; barely even able to explain what had happened to him the last 48 hours, let alone understand what we needed to do still to get him well.
Dr. Jonathan took my call, and in the calmest voice, he asked me to bring him in, and he and Dr. Keri would take a look at him, and were sure they could help provide us some answers. You see, we were farily new to the clinic, and they didn't know us well at all.
When we got to Animal Clinic of Elkhorn, they unwrapped Reese's leg, and took a look. They talked amongst themselves, and looked at the leg and it's incredibly bad present state. We explained to them that financially, we needed to do not only what was good for the dog, but what was financially sound for us. The emergency vet had costed us a mere fortune, but funds were getting low, and we were extremely concerned. We didn't know what to do.
The staff and the doctors, cleaned the wound, took a good look at it, and after spending much time with us, they told us that they truly believed that they could save the leg. "Why not try", said Dr. Keri. We could see how it looked in a week, and reevaluate at that time, but she and Dr. John thought that it was worth us at least trying. the plan was to try to save the leg, and if we had to, we could always look at other options once we extinguished all other attempts.
We weren't quite sure if we believed it, but we didn't want to have to amputate if we didn't need to.
We went into the clinic every few days for bandage changes, and evaluations to see how he was healing. Every week it got better! We could actually see the new skin coming back!
In time, they taught us how to do the changes at home so we could have some savings on costs. They provided us with supplies, and armed us with all the information on how to treat at home for a few days. We emailed pictures with every bandage change and they responded to us immediately. It got to the point where we would take him in once a week, then every two weeks!
It was going to be a long journey, but we were committed to trying.
With every change, our hope was renewed.
You see, I don't think ANY other vet would do this. I know for a fact that Dr. Keri and Dr. Jonathan did something INCREDIBLE! They understood that financially, we were limited, due to the Emergency bill already. They took it upon themselves to choose to help us in the most cost effective way, but also what was the best option for Reese, and that was keeping his leg.
I don't think many places would have done what they did. In fact, I know many people would have told us the opposite.
The entire staff treated us like one of their family, and through the months of bandage changes, and emails, and visits to the clinic; they always went above and beyond for us.
It brings tears to my eyes to think of the generosity and kindness they showed us in a time, where they could have very easily told us something else-or told us we had no other options.
I cannot adequately explain just how brilliant everyone at Animal Clinic Of Elkhorn is! Every single person was dedicated to helping Reese, and saving his leg. They came up with unique ways to treat him, keep him wrapped and keep him comfortable. With every new result, they altered his treatment to best suit him and again, armed us with confidence and information, so we could treat at home.
For 4 months, we have diligently done what they said. With every week, we saw new results!!
This Christmas we had a lot to celebrate and be grateful for.
Dr. Keri, Dr. Jonathan, Tolene, Teresa, Julia, Meagan, Jordan and the rest have been incredible. We are grateful to them, but we are even happier that this is in our town. This clinic and the incredible people are HERE! I will recommend them and retell our story to everyone! What they did was admirable, and I believe we are blessed to have had them walk this path with us.
When I think back, I often wonder what another vet would have thought. I think sometimes that they would have looked at Reese, and his situation and perhaps they would have seen dollar signs. But when the good docs at ACE looked at him, they saw HOPE above anything else. They saw an opportunity to not only help this dog by trying to save his leg, they saw the worry in our eyes, and decided to help us as well. They CHOSE to do what was "right" in their minds--and for that...we are forever grateful.
We share our story, so we can spread the word on the impact they have made on us, and just how awesome these people are!
Reese at one of his every other day visits.
1st day we treated Reese in our clinic.
"Animal Clinic of Elkhorn Loves Reese"
1st visit to Animal Clinic of Elkhorn
What great strides Reese has come!
Animal Clinic of Elkhorn