With just a few days to go until the closing date for the first Animal Hero of the Year Award - sponsored by Redwings - in the Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards, we’re celebrating one of our own.
As a healthy, heavy horse on no medication, Rourke (above) – a 17hh, Irish Draught cross gelding - was the perfect plasma donor when Coral fell ill.
Coral, a 9.2hh piebald mare, who came in as part of a welfare case, was flagged for losing weight and after staff noticed some redworm larvae in her faeces she went downhill quickly, needing urgent supportive care (below).
Redwings Veterinary Surgeon Dawn Trayhorn oversaw Coral’s care. She said: “Coral was losing protein from her intestines. It was a critical situation, and we could have lost her.
“She wouldn’t have survived without the intensive care she was given, and the plasma from Rourke was vital in getting her to turn the corner.
“Coral is now doing great. She’s back at Redwings Caldecott Visitor Centre with her group of friends and hopefully can be rehomed at some point in the future.
“Rourke did really well during the procedure and had lots of TLC and yummy dinners afterwards, before being returned to his friend group too. He’s a real animal hero.”
Dawn added: “It’s amazing when we’re able to save a life. The whole team pulls together in situations like this. It’s difficult, but also what we’re here for. Coral and Rourke are very special to us.”
The Eastern Daily Press created the new category at this year’s Stars of Norfolk and Waveney Awards after receiving several nominations for our very own Phoenix last year, but there was no suitable category. The Animal Hero of the Year Award will recognise the non-human heroes that impact us and celebrates the selflessness of animals who, without expectation of something in return, enrich, assist and support the daily lives of those who love them.
Nominations are open until Sunday 16th October. Finalists will be announced on 19th November in a special EDP supplement and all finalists will be invited to a special afternoon event at Norwich Cathedral on 1st December, where the winners will be announced.