June 20, 2022
A message to our Grand Avenue Veterinary Family --
As many of you know, if you’ve had an appointment in the last 2 weeks, our appointment schedule has been unusually tight, and we’ve had to change some appointment times. We had originally explained that Dr. Wauhob was out of the office due to a family medical emergency. We are now able to share more complete information.
On Saturday, June 4, Dr. Wauhob suffered a serious heart attack while visiting family in Sioux City. She was transferred to a hospital in Omaha. Her heart was very weak, and last week her cardiology team determined that her heart was too severely damaged and wouldn’t recover. On Friday, June 17, she was put on the transplant list. Because she was on an ECMO machine (a machine that pumps and oxygenates the patient’s blood outside the body, allowing the heart to rest), she was put at the top of the transplant list.
Within hours of being on the list, a heart became available, and around 10 pm, Friday, June 17, she underwent heart transplant surgery.
She has recovered from surgery but is still in ICU. Her husband says she is doing well. On Tuesday, June 21, she got to stand up for the first time in 2 1/2 weeks!!!
She will, of course, be gone for several months as her immune system gets used to the newness of the transplanted heart - which means that our schedule will be more restrictive until we are able to find a relief veterinarian to fill in.
Dr. Robinson will be working full weeks - Monday through Friday - but we will continue to be closed on Saturdays - until further notice.
In addition Dr. R has a family vacation planned June 26-July 1 - so the office will be closed for appointments during that week. We will have staff available from 11-5:30 Monday-Friday for you to pick up medications and food. If these hours are impossible for you, please call and we’ll do our best to accommodate your needs. When there is staff in the building, the phones will be answered. If you call and no one answers, please feel free to leave a message, and someone will get back to you within 24 hours.
If you would like to send a card or note to Dr. Wauhob, please send it to our office - 312 Grand Avenue - West Des Moines - 50265. We will make sure she gets it!
We will be posting periodic updates on Facebook as well.
We truly apologize for any inconvenience, and hope that you are understanding of the fact that we were most definitely not expecting this kind of situation to occur! Please send your positive thoughts and prayers for Dr. Wauhob and her family!!
--Dr. Sue and the GAVH Staff
Thank you for everyone's understanding this week with our limited hours! We have a great update on Dr. Wauhob!
She is was able to transfer out of ICU and into a normal hospital room over the weekend!! Yay!! She is continuing to improve every day and we are now receiving our updates directly from Dr. Wauhob which is such a great sign. They are doing frequent plasma exchanges to prevent rejection of her new heart and a physical therapist is helping her start to get her strength back walking the halls. Next step will be a biopsy of her heart next week to see how it's doing. She has been overwhelmed by all your kind words and encouragement!! Thank you for your continued understanding and support as we navigate through this!
We have fantastic news! Dr. Wauhob is home! Her medical team was finally able to complete a heart biopsy and she passed with flying colors with no signs of rejection of her new heart. She will continue her recovery and physical therapy from the comfort of home with regular trips back to Omaha for appointments with her cardiology and transplant team. She is very excited to be back home after 2 months and is looking forward to working her way back to seeing all our clients and patients again! Thank you for all your support and positive thoughts for her recovery!
A letter from Dr. Wauhob to all of you!
Dear GAVH family and friends,
I was discharged to go home on July 29 after almost eight weeks in the hospital. I am trying to improve each day - working on physical therapy and getting stronger. The doctors feel like my new heart is doing well. It is great to be home!
I want to thank everyone for your cards, prayers, and kind words of support and encouragement. I can't wait until I see you again!
Dr. Wauhob is continuing to get stronger every day with her new heart. She graduated physical therapy and is doing cardiac rehab several times a week. They have been decreasing her medications and her body is responding well. She is in good spirits and remains positive about getting back to normal life and coming back to work as soon as she can! We are looking forward to the day we can see her back in the clinic again!
Dr. Wauhob has been cleared by her cardiology team to return to work!! There are still some other "hurdles" for her to get over before returning but she hopes to start coming in for a few hours at a time in December. We are still amazed that she is going to be returning so soon in any capacity.
She's BACK! It might only be for a few hours and a couple appointments at a time but we are SO happy to see her face in the clinic again! She will not have a regular schedule so we cannot accommodate requests to see her but she will be in and out as she feels comfortable so maybe you will be lucky enough to see her if you are here this month!