St. Patty, a 14-month-old kitten, has brought many residents of a New Jersey town together.
This kitten was rescued by Jennifer Smith, a Furrever Friends Rescue and Volunteers foster mom, on St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patty had numerous health problems, including the fact that she had no eyelids. The fur around her eyes went into her corneas, causing her pain and discomfort.
“At first the veterinarian thought she had inverted eyelids,” said Smith. “But we learned she didn’t have any eyelids. So we took her to specialists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine.”
Dr. James Schoster, a veterinarian for 30 years who specializes in veterinary opthalmology, saw St. Patty and said she has an unusual birth defect. This is the fourth time in his career that Dr. Schoster has seen something like this.
Initially, Dr. Schoster injected collagen above the eye where the eyelid should be to stretch the tissues and begin recreation of the eyelid.
Two weeks later, St. Patty underwent through surgery to remove a layer of hair that was rubbing her corneas.
Her surgeries have totaled around $1,000, but community donations have paid for all of St. Patty’s health costs. Also the University of Pennsylvania discounted the surgery by 50 percent.
This little kitten has recovered from her surgery, but she still is sensitive to light and is afraid of opening her eyes too wide. And she has made friends with the other kittens in Smith’s house.
“She doesn’t see real well, but she gets around good,” said Smith.
St. Patty has developed a form of glaucoma, so she needs expensive eye drops to help her. The drops have been donated by a pharmacy which has saved the rescue $300.
Some fur has grown back around St. Patty’s eyes, which has caused more discomfort. Dr. Schoster will perform another surgery to remove the last pieces of fur.
“She will never be normal,” said Dr. Schoster. “She also had poor eyesight. But we’ll do what we can to ease her discomfort.”
Furrever Friends Rescue and Volunteers said they are lucky to have found St. Patty.
Source: Courier Post Online