Brave Kara and her dad’s story – thanks to our specialists!

by Andrew Backstrom ~

Kara woke up crying and we could not figure out what was wrong. Then she freaked out when Logan touched her, and we realised she cannot see!

It really broke my heart, my little girl that goes running/riding with me, who lives for adventure, was suddenly not able to navigate the world she so loves to explore…

Kara was first rescued 7 years ago by friends of ours in Paarl. Kara loves kids and approached some street kids to play with them, who then decided to kick her. Our friends grabbed her and took her home. One thing that has always been strong with Kara is her willingness to play and explore, this resulted in our friends unable to stimulate this.

She arrived at our home after much debate between my wife and I. Me not liking the idea due to the responsibility of having a dog.

On Kara’s first night she knew she was home and did not cry once, except when I asked her to go to bed in her own bed. She quickly decided that her bed was our bed and that’s where she has slept ever since.

Kara has been important in helping me start my business, she reminded me that it can’t be all work with no play and at 5 pm she would come to fetch me so that we can go to the park.

Logan my boy came along, and Kara and he fell in love with each as soon as they laid eyes on each other. She is really amazing with him.

Then our world got turned upside down. I will never forget the day, the previous evening we had all been at the park playing ball and Kara was her usual self but in the morning,  she woke up crying and we could not figure out what was wrong. Logan was very worried and went over to her to hug her and that’s when we realised she could not see, due to her freaking out when he touched her. It really broke my heart, my little girl that goes running/riding with me, who lives for adventure, was not able to navigate the world she so loves to explore. She was in and out of the hospital while the doctors tried to figure out what was going on, her eyesight started to return a little (which we could not believe nor could the doctors). A week later things went from bad to worse and Kara started having seizures and the doctors started to realise that it could be GME (Granulomatous meningoencephalitis).

Dr Kettner was away at the time so we had about 4 days that we had to wait until he returned, Kara was getting worse and the Sunday night when I kissed her good night, I was not sure she was going to make it to the appointment in the morning.

Dr Kettner tried informing about implications of GME and the survival rate not always be a high one be, but I would not hear any of this and kept telling everyone she would be okay. Kara responded so well to treatment, she was able to walk again (she still had some muscle damage due to the seizures), no more seizures occurred (still to date) and her eyesight improved weekly.

Treatment started in October and by February Kara was jumping into my arms again and playing ball.

The Kara we have today is that crazy little girl I collected 7 years ago. She still lights up the room, gets you to laugh and 5 pm reminds you to have a little bit of fun. This will always remain in her personality.

I thank all the staff at TAH who have been involved in this, you truly have done something special here.

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