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Tuesday

 

N.J. man with Multiple Sclerosis sets up GoFundMe for dog's surgery

Michael Limper sat in a room at NorthStar VETS with his friend David Vanderbeck, anxiously waiting news from the veterinarian about his beloved dog Sugar, an energetic and friendly 2-year-old boxer mix.

About two weeks ago Sugar stepped on a machete in Limper's backyard, severing 60 percent of the achilles tendons in her hind left leg, said Dr. Kelly Kraus, who performed surgery on Aug. 14.

Limper, who lives in Jackson, has Multiple Sclerosis and a prosthetic leg having been injured in 2006 when he fell down an elevator shaft while working at a construction site in Bridgewater.

"We're just great friends," Limper said. "She gives me a reason to get up in the morning."

Limper, who is not able to work, said he cannot afford the veterinarian bills and is now turning to GoFundMe to raise $5,000 to cover the cost of the surgery, emergency treatment, rehabilitation and medications. To date, he has received $310.

When the cost of the surgery was revealed to Limper, he said there was "kind of some panic going on."

"A lot of panic going on," Vanderbeck added.

Phillip Barnes, spokesman for NorthStar, said he encouraged Limper to create the GoFundMe page and works with pet owners to help them with information on how to receive financial aid if they need it.

"The kind of pet owners that we see here are people who are absolutely committed to the health of their pet," Barnes said. "There are a few resources people can use like Care Credit. There's also a few different charities out there to help people. One is called Vet-I-Care. People can document a financial need and apply for a grant."

Barnes said Vet-I-Care awarded Limper $1,000, but that was not enough to cover the surgery and post-operative rehabilitation therapy, so the GoFundMe page was set up. Barnes would not comment on how long Limper has to raise the money or what would happen if he did not.

Limper said he received one donation of $100 from his Realtor and one $100 anonymous donation.

Vanderbeck lives in a camper on the property of Limper's house where he is able to help take care of his friend and now Sugar as well.

Sugar was at the hospital on Thursday getting her bandages changed and will not have her cast removed for another six weeks.

On the day of her accident, a friend had come over to cut down brush in Limper's yard and put down the machete he was using to do the work when Sugar accidentally stepped on it.

Vanderbeck said he encouraged Limper to take Sugar to the veterinarian hospital.

"I saw the cut had no blood and knew something was wrong," Vanderbeck said. "I never thought such a small cut on her leg could be so devastating."

Sugar came into NorthStar not walking on the tip of her paw, as is natural for dogs, but rather with her leg bent, resting the pressure on her upper left leg, Kraus said.

"If she didn't get the surgery, she would have never used that leg properly," Kraus said.

Kraus said the original bill was $3,045 which includes anti-inflammatory, antibiotics and pain medications, but not post-operational therapy, growing the amount to $5,000.

Sugar is walking almost completely normal on the cast, but for her own safety she needs to be on a leash and cannot be outside too much because of the antibiotics, Limper said.

"She loves being outside in the sun," Limper said. "She's very high-energy and it's killing her to not be able to go on walks and be outside."


Lindsay Rittenhouse may be reached at lrittenhouse@njadvancemedia.com. Find NJ.com on Facebook.


Story Source: The above story is based on materials provided by NJ.COM
Note: Materials may be edited for content and length 



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