It struck me this morning that this February 29 "Leap Day" adds an extra day to the life of our 9-year-old blond Lab rescue, Murphy. Just 15 months ago, we weren't at all sure that Murphy had many days left. However, thanks to Dr. Jay McDonnell and a number of other great folks there at Chesapeake Veterinary, Murphy continues to enjoy life to the fullest—and to daily enrich ours!
Everything started the week before Thanksgiving in 2010 when Murphy developed weakness in his back legs. A trip to his local vet resulted in a referral to your Towson office and, from there, a referral to Annapolis to see Dr. McDonnell. Within 24 hours, Dr. McDonnell had worked Murphy in for an MRI, which revealed a large tumor pressing on Murphy's spine. We were immediately impressed by Dr. McDonnell's compassion and waste-no-time approach to dealing with Murphy's problem. The same can be said of Dr. McDonnell's staff too. His vet techs Ryan and Eric were unbelievable! One of them even laid beside Murphy inside the MRI machine to keep our poor, confused and frightened boy calm. Dr. McDonnell's office manager, Gina, spent a huge amount of time calming us—addressing our many concerns and allaying our fears.
Surgery was immediately scheduled for early December. However, as we drove Murphy back to Baltimore, I told his "mom" Kathy to not worry, that we would find the very best surgeon to remove the tumor. I spend the next couple of days doing a lot of online research and consulting with my son-in-law, who is a veterinarian in New England. It took little time to determine that the very best surgeon for the job was, in fact, Dr. Jay McDonnell! Our confidence in him was not misplaced. Murphy came through the surgery with flying colors and today is enjoying a full recovery—bounding through the backyard as if nothing had happened.
But there's more to the story. The biopsy of the tumor that Dr. McDonnell removed (We later found out that he personally drove the specimen to the University of Pennsylvania for analysis!) revealed a malignancy—Multiple Myeloma. Dr. McDonnell continued to follow Murphy post-operatively, but turned his primary care over to another Chesapeake veterinarian, Dr. Janet Peterson and her fine staff. Once again, their patience has been wonderful and the care Murphy has received has been exceptional. He is taking daily oral chemotherapy and has been in remission for about a year. We are well aware that this situation will not continue forever for Murphy, but we are extremely grateful to both Dr. McDonnell and Dr. Peterson for every day that their extraordinary care has given him. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
--Murphy's mom and dad, Kathy and David