They say the bond between dog lovers and their trusty companion is strong and endless. For Ken Eggers, that bond was unquestionable as Ken faced a potentially serious health condition, but never lost sight of caring for Petey, his trusted friend and companion. Petey is an almost one-year-old American Pit Bull.
On Saturday, July 14, Ken - a northern Michigan truck driver - was driving past Fond du Lac to make a delivery in Brownsville. He was feeling under the weather, talking to his wife, Theresa, on the phone.
“I thought I was just under the weather,” Ken explains, “but my wife encouraged me to get to the emergency room."
Ken pulled into a local truck stop with Petey, and started to experience chest pains. From there, Ken was taken to St. Agnes Hospital’s Emergency Department for care. But, Petey didn’t catch a ride for obvious reasons.
But Ken’s mind never strayed from taking good care of Petey. “The truck was running and air-conditioned,” Ken says. “Petey had plenty of food and water.”
While at St. Agnes Hospital, Ken underwent a number of tests and was kept overnight for observation. Diagnosis showed that Ken had blockages in his heart, and Sunday morning, he underwent a cardiac catheterization with Richard Santa-Cruz, MD, an interventional cardiologist.
Through all of this time, Ken’s concern for Petey remained. St. Agnes Hospital nursing staff started the process, and turned to Mary Schaefer, a case manager. Mary contacted the Fond du Lac Humane Society, thanks to assistance from Fond du Lac Police dispatchers.
Ken was certain to give Mary not only the keys to his truck, but also specific instructions on how to retrieve Petey to stay with the humane society until his wife, brother and mother came later that day. Keys were left for police to retrieve and to visit Petey with the human society manager.
“Ken told me to call him Petey, Petey, Petey,” Mary recalls. “He assured me that Petey would be kind and calm. The truck, he says, is like Petey’s home. I was very happy to help Ken and Petey. A day at work is figuring out details so the patients can concentrate on getting better.”
After Ken came out of surgery, he was given the good news that Petey was safe and at the humane society. Now, Ken could concentrate on his recovery.
For Ken, his memories will be of the caregivers that provided tremendous care at an important time. But, he will never forget the extra efforts that were taken by St. Agnes Hospital staff, as well as police and humane society staff.
“Hospitals care for people,” Ken says. “Not only did I get the best care, but my dog Petey was safe and happy. The team truly went above and beyond. I cannot thank those individuals enough who took an interest in my care and my dog.”