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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bionic cat is a medical miracle


“Miracles are a retelling in small letters of the very same story which is written across the whole world in letters too large for some of us to see.” ~ C.S. Lewis ~

On Wednesday, June 30, 2010, at 2245 BST, the British Broadcasting channel 1 will air the documentary, BIONIC VET, which chronicles an amazing medical advancement that has become a news story buzzing around wire services worldwide.

The documentary concerns a 2-1/2 year old cat named "Oscar" and his successfully implanted prosthetic back paws; a true veterinary medical miracle that has technically produced the world’s first bionic kitty.

Oscar’s story began in November, 2009 when he was catching an afternoon catnap in a cornfield in Jersey, a British Crown Dependency island off the coast of France.

As Oscar slept, a harvester combine sliced off his back paws.

Oscar’s owners, Mike Nolan and Kate Allan rushed the cat to the local veterinarian.

Nolan said in an interview with the BBC that it was, "complete panic” and “very traumatic;” Oscar was “covered in blood, bits of flesh, it was very gruesome.”

Nolan was “convinced” that they “were going to have to put him down.”

Local veterinarian, Peter Haworth at the New Era Veterinary Hospital was able to stabilize the cat with painkillers, and then cleaned and dressed his wounds.

Over the next two weeks, Haworth and his owners were in constant contact with Noel Fitzpatrick, a recommended neuro-orthopaedic surgeon in Surrey, England who had been doing pioneering work on prosthetics.

After extensive consultations, x-rays and tests, it was determined that Oscar would be an ideal candidate for this (first of its kind) prosthetics transplant procedure.

Even though there were no total guarantees, Nolan says, "We would never have gone through with it if there was doubt about his quality of life going forward.”

At this point, Oscar is learning to navigate using his bio-engineered custom implants with ankle- to-foot prosthetic paws.

Nolan and Allan know that their cat is receiving the finest most compassionate care during his rehab period and they look forward to his return home to Jersey. Ms. Allan says, "Without this surgery he wouldn't be here, it's as simple as that."

The embedded video below highlights this miracle story.

Oh, and by they way, Oscar still has his eight other lives intact.

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