Posted on Jan 17, 2014
By Ellie Laks, Founder of The Gentle Barn
Worthy was born with a deformed leg and was kept by someone who could not afford to feed her, let alone give her the surgery she needed. She hobbled along for a year and was grossly underweight and malnourished and had crushed all her growth plates in that leg and had difficulty walking and could not run. The local vets in South Carolina wanted to put her to sleep, but we never give up that easily and showed her pictures to our local vets in California and asked if they knew what was wrong with her and if there was any help. Our vets said that it was Windswept Angular Limb Deformity, which is common in horses and should have been corrected at birth. We were told of a hospital in Kentucky that does this exact surgery in yearlings so we transported Worthy to Kentucky to be examined. The surgeons at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital told us that it was the worst case they had ever seen but they were willing to give her a chance even though the operation was extremely risky with no guarantees. After a 4-hour surgery, 6 months of hospitalization, thousands and thousands of dollars for the vet bill, two casts, a specially made leg brace, many titanium screws and plates and lots of prayers from around the world, Worthy made it; her leg is now straight and she can walk, run, lay down and play like a normal horse. Worthy will spend the rest of her life at The Gentle Barn, giving hope and inspiration to thousands of children born with differences and struggles of their own.