Doctor flies his Cockapoo 8,000 miles for life-saving heart surgery

pictures of a blonde cockapoo who was flown 8,000 miles to Cambridge for heart surgery
Can you put a price on love? (Picture: Dick White Referrals / SWNS)

How far would you go to save the life of your beloved pet?

One Chicago doctor has spent thousands to fly his sick Cockapoo 8,000 miles to help fix her enlarged heart. Dr Jeffrey Bernfield, 62, was told his 12-year-old dog Hula had a serious heart problem which meant she was at risk of suffering a fatal cardiac arrest. The poor girl was diagnosed with myxomatous mitral valve disease and vets in her home city told Dr Jeffrey that the best treatment was available all the way in the UK.

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Dr Jeffrey said: ‘I did a lot of research on where this kind of advanced surgery could be performed, and the UK and Japan were the only two viable places. ‘I decided the UK was a better option for Hula and me as it is a seven-hour flight rather than a 13-hour flight and obviously the people speak English, making communication easier.
Hula, the 12-year-old Cockapoo
What a face (Picture: Dick White Referrals / SWNS)
Dick White Referrals’s (DWR) Dr Poppy Bristow also has an excellent reputation as a skilled surgeon, doctor and person which sealed the decision.’

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Dr Jeffrey was allowed to sit with little Hula for the seven-hour flight they took to the UK last month before the pooch was rushed to DWR.

Dr Poppy said: ‘Mitral valve disease is a progressively degenerative condition that affects a lot of middle-aged and older dogs and Hula was a very serious case.
Hula, the 12-year-old Cockapoo
Hula’s heart was in a bad way (Picture: Dick White Referrals / SWNS)

‘She had Stage C myxomatous (degenerative) mitral valve disease so needed urgent and expert attention.’

She added: ‘Only a handful of centres in the world are able to perform this type of surgery.

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‘Surgery went very well with four different specialities involved in ensuring such a successful outcome.

Hula, the 12-year-old Cockapoo, photographed on the plane
Hula on the plane (Picture: Dick White Referrals / SWNS)
‘Happily, Hula is back home in Chicago now and doing very well.

‘She has experienced hardly any residual leakage and her heart is almost back to a normal size, having been extremely large prior to surgery.’

Hula, the 12-year-old Cockapoo
She’s doing much better now (Picture: Dick White Referrals / SWNS)

Dr Jeffrey said: ‘Hula is doing great since surgery.

‘She is no longer short of breath and her activity level is like it was five years ago.

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‘She is a different dog – and in a great way.’

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