‘She came back from the dead three times’: incredible recovery of ‘miracle’ pony

  • The owner of a “miracle” pony who suffered three cardiac arrests after surgery and was brought round on the third attempt said she could not believe such a thing could happen.

    Vets nicknamed Christine Moore’s five-year-old Welsh section A Luna “Phoenix” after her incredible recovery. Eight weeks on, Christine told H&H, the little mare is as healthy and happy as ever.

    Christine said she had fallen in love with and bought Luna as a weanling, as a companion and for her grandchildren. She was treated for sarcoids, but then the vet found a lump in her chest.

    “They thought it was an internal sarcoid, and that it would be best to put her under general anaesthetic, a 20-minute job and all done,” she said. “I took her over and she stayed overnight for surgery the next morning.”

    But in the morning, the vet rang.

    “I knew by the tone of her voice,” Christine said. “She said they were having some problems; the operation had been fine but in recovery, she had three cardiac arrests. I went into shock.”

    Christine said at the time of the call, Luna was unresponsive.

    “They wanted me to call it,” she said. “I ran off screaming and in tears. My husband took the phone and said could they call back as he needed to get to me. Then, after 10 minutes of me hyperventilating and convinced I’d never see her again, the phone rang and they said ‘She’s come round’. I said ‘I’m coming over’.”

    Christine said the vets told her they were not aware of such a thing ever happening before.

    “They said bringing one back after two attempts is rare enough, three is unheard of,” she said. “Bless them, they worked on her for an hour and a half as they didn’t want to give up, and the vet nurses were all crying when she came round.

    Picture by Emma Campbell Photography

    “They renamed her Phoenix as she’s such a miracle. Then when I got there, she had her head in a bucket, eating, and she didn’t give a damn!”

    The vet who operated on Luna told H&H cardiac arrests after anaesthesia are very rare; she had only seen one in 11 years of surgery.

    “The operation had been uneventful and she was coming round, then she stopped breathing in recovery, and then her heart stopped,” she said. “We had to give her CPR, and medication to induce contraction of the heart – and we did that three times. I thought we’d lost her but she just kept going. Thankfully, complications like this are incredibly rare.”

    The vet said that within a couple of hours, Luna looked as though nothing had happened, and Christine said she still does.

    “She’s completely fine; no brain damage, back to being normal Luna again,” she said. “She’s my baby; I’ve got four horses and you shouldn’t have favourites! But she’s my little best friend.

    “I can’t believe something like that could happen; she came back from the dead three times. I’d gone through all the emotions you ever could, in 10 minutes, then it was ‘She’s fine’ and I got there and she was eating. I thought, really? It’s aged me 10 years!

    “She’s a fabulous little pony and I love her to bits. Miracles do happen.”

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