Randy Etter is a local R&B singer just trying to make a living in Indianapolis, Indiana.
But one day, he found himself in a race against time to find enough funds so that his dog, Gemini, could undergo emergency life-saving surgery.
Etter first noticed that all was not well with his best friend when Gemini started losing weight. But even as his frame shrank, his gut remained swollen, an obvious sign that something was very wrong.
The singer took the dog to the vet and learned that Gemini had a life-threatening intestinal blockage. If Gemini did not have surgery right away, he would die.
However, the surgery would cost anywhere between $3,000 to $6,000 and Etter went from surgeon to surgeon trying to find one that he could afford.
But even the lowest quoted cost was still too much for him and Etter put his car up for sale hoping it would be sold quickly so that Gemini could get that surgery.
“I’m sitting here watching TV, and I’m literally thinking he was dying that night,” Etter told WXIN.
“I knew I didn’t have the money for the surgery, but I knew in my mind that was what had to happen. I put my car up for sale for $1,000 less than what I was actually wanting to take for it.”
Gemini was quickly running out of time and although a generous friend put in $2,000 for the surgery, it still wasn’t enough.
And then relief came from an unlikely place. Total strangers started donating to a fund that was set up by the Street Outreach Animal Response Initiative (S.O.A.R.) in Indianapolis.
According to the non-profit’s Facebook page, the organization aims to help humans and animals who are facing crisis situations and Etter’s and Gemini’s situation certainly qualified as that.
After S.O.A.R. posted a call for help for Gemini on Facebook, nearly $3,000 were donated so that the dog could undergo emergency surgery. Even though the donors had never met Etter or Gemini, they simply wanted to help someone in their time of need.
A grateful Etter said, “I never thought I’d be one of those people to catch the miracle, you know what I’m saying?”
Doctors found a partially chewed sock and plastic from a baby bottle lodged inside Gemini’s intestine. The operation was successful and the dog was sent home to recover from his ordeal. Etter is now keeping a close watch on the floor and the dog to make sure Gemini doesn’t ingest anything he’s not supposed to.
Etter couldn’t believe how the Indianapolis community pulled together to help him and his dog and he’s forever thankful that he gets to keep enjoying life with his best friend.
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