Please Help Us Save Sammie!

Fundraising campaign by Sean Jacobs
  • US$1,112.00
    raised of $17,067.00 goal goal
6% Funded
21 Donors
Raised offline: $3,030.00
Total: $4,142.00
Help this ongoing fundraising campaign by making a donation and spreading the word.
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Our little boy, Sammie, is in critical condition at University of Georgia Large Animal Vet Hospital after some complications following his second brain surgery.

We are creating a fundraiser to help us with the flood of medical bills that are piling up as we await next steps for his recovery, hopefully bringing him home to continue care within the next week.

This fundraiser only includes the last three weeks of procedures and appointments: multiple MRIs, 2nd brain surgery, emergency vet visit, and upwards of a 2 week stay in Athens GA at UGA's large animal vet hospital. It does NOT include: 5 other surgeries, past MRIs, medications, vet visits, travel expenses, etc. OR what is to come

We made a promise to Sam, when we first brought him home, that we would give him the best chance at a great life, and we don’t plan on stopping any time soon, but we need your help as we reach the pinnacle of his treatment for brain lesions that have caused hundreds of seizures, two brain surgeries, and now a number of side effects that have possibly caused an inability to swallow, leading to dehydration and huge drops in blood markers.

If you'd like to help us avoid fees and donate directly to us, you can use PayPal and send to [email protected] or Venmo @Sean-Jacobs901.

For the full story of Sam’s short, but extremely eventful life, you can read more below!

Thank you so much for your time!

Sean & Laura Jacobs

Sam's Saga:

In June, 2019, at a primate sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Florida, a piglet was dropped off with his forehead smashed in.

All of 2 pounds, his mother had determined that he was the runt and not worth feeding, so she’d either bitten him or stomped on him, trying to kill him to save her milk for the rest.

The piglet was rushed to a nearby vet where the worked quickly to clean the wound and fix his skull. Somehow, he survived the procedure, and he was dropped back at the sanctuary to recover.

Sean was volunteering at the time, and knew that volunteer efforts would be spread thin and the piglet wouldn’t get the care he needed for the best chance at recovery, so we decided to bring him home to the Jacobs Zoo.

On July 4th, 2019, Ham Sandwich Jacobs joined our motley crew, and we made a promise to him to do whatever we needed to do to give him the best chance at a full and healthy life.

Over the last four years, that promise has been tested, but Sam quickly proved, literally over and over again, that his will to live is even stronger than our commitment to him.

Before his 3rd birthday Sam had 4 life-threatening surgeries.

1. The skull puncture and its repair.

2. A cryptorchid testicle during his neutering that resulted in a much lengthier surgery that he nearly did not survive.

3. A emergency gastrectomy from choking.

4. A second emergency gastrectomy from choking.

Every time he battled, somehow came out alive, and he never once lost his enthusiasm for life…

About 18 months ago Sammie started having seizures. It started as one every few weeks and grew to the point where he was having over 10 in one day.

We exhausted our resources with local vets, who were stumped, and after an MRI showed he had multiple lesions on his brain, we reached out to a specialist at All Animals Vet, located in Jacksonville. With Dr. Kennedy's detailed assessments and advice, she located a neurology clinic in Boyton Beach, Florida. Dr. Reese had never worked with pigs but was willing to investigate and help us moving forward.

After a few rounds of testing, it was determined that Sam would need brain surgery to attempt to test and possibly remove the lesions on his brain.

Sammie had his first brain surgery in August of 2022, and while they couldn’t reach one of the lesions deep inside of his brain, the other, near the front, was successfully treated.

It was determined that the lesions were caused by a parasite, and we went full speed ahead with oral medications to hopefully kill and treat the other parasitic lesion that the surgeons couldn’t reach.

His follow up appointment a few months later showed that the lesion had grown, and the current treatment plan wasn’t working as we had hoped. Sam was still having seizures and we were noticing signs of him possibly being neurologically impaired.

Sammie had his second brain surgery a few weeks ago on July 13, 2023, and the surgeon was successfully able to reach the lesion, core it for a sample, and pull some of it out to ease inflammation that was continuing to increase in Sam’s brain.

He made it out of surgery and into our, at this point, habitual recovery routine, because this was Sammie’s 6th surgery.

At first, all signs pointed towards a healthy recovery. He was slowly starting to eat and drink again, and his movements and oinks seemed to be progressing in the right direction.

After a few days though, we started to notice he was having difficulty drinking water. He couldn’t seem to swallow all the way, and it began to affect his ability to eat as well. He hadn’t pooped or peed in over 24 hours.

The following Wednesday after brain surgery, Sammie wouldn’t eat or drink and was visibly struggling. We decided to reach out to nearby urgent pet care clinics, but Sam’s considered an “exotic animal” so we weren’t having any luck finding a doctor that knew pigs.

After a couple dozen phone calls, we luckily found a Veterinary Emergency Group location in South Tampa, that had a doctor on staff who graduated from University of Georgia and had experience with pigs. We rushed him there and spent the following night sitting with him as they tried to give him IV meds, get him to eat, drink, poop, pee, anything to show signs of him heading in the right direction.

If you’re remotely familiar with pet pigs at all, you know how difficult it is to get an IV catheter in a pig because their blood clots so quickly and their skin is extremely tough. After the VEG doctors had exhausted their efforts to keep an IV in him and he hadn’t shown enough signs of recovery in the process, they recommended to us that we go to UGA Large Animal Hospital for high level treatment.

We went home, packed our bags, got the rest of the animals settled, and hopped in the car for the 8 hour drive to UGA.

Sam is now with the UGA specialists as they work around the clock to determine what’s going on with his digestive system, get him eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom normally again, while also determining if his neurological status from the issue in his brain is contributing to these issues. Once they get him on the mend, they will help us dive deeper into the issues in his brain to see what they can do to help him survive all of this long term.

When we made a promise to Sammie, a few weeks old at the time, stitches still in his forehead, to give him the best chance at life, we were 1000% serious and that has not wavered one bit.

We have done our best to shoulder the load for everything he has been through, but with these most recent events happening in such a short period of time, and his status being so critical for a couple weeks now, we have reached a point where we must ask for help to get him to the finish line. We still have a long road a head, with multiple tests and follow up MRI’s in the future to track the progress of his brain lesion. We are hoping now that we have a more accurate idea of what it is, the antibiotics prescribed will have a better chance a fighting the infection, but another possible surgery is not off the table.

Many of you know, for both humans and pets, how crushing medical bills can be, and if you feel inspired by Sammie’s journey, we are asking for any and all donations toward his bills for this critical situation where time is of the essence.

Sammie’s unwavering will to survive throughout his short life of 6 serious surgeries and now critical condition, fighting for his life again, with possibly more surgeries on the horizon, shows us that he is in no way giving up, and neither are we.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read his story and we greatly appreciate any donations that you might be able to give to help us get him feeling better, and home, for the next steps in his recovery.

Sean & Laura

Fundraising Team

"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." - Jane Goodall

"What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make." - Jane Goodall

  • Laura Jacobs
  •  
  • Pig Mom

Donors

  • Guest
  • Donated on Sep 09, 2023
$20.00
  • Hoe Ming Jun
  • Donated on Aug 21, 2023
  • Gws little one

$100.00
  • Judy Riley
  • Donated on Aug 21, 2023
  • Please get better, Sammie.

$100.00

No updates for this campaign just yet

Donors & Comments

21 donors
  • Guest
  • Donated on Sep 09, 2023
$20.00
  • Hoe Ming Jun
  • Donated on Aug 21, 2023
  • Gws little one

$100.00
  • Judy Riley
  • Donated on Aug 21, 2023
  • Please get better, Sammie.

$100.00
  • Lenny Simmons
  • Donated on Aug 18, 2023
  • Love You Both!!!! Let’s Go Sammie

$100.00
  • Josie Thurston
  • Donated on Aug 11, 2023
  • Good luck Sammy, you very special soul.

$15.00
  • Zachary Parker
  • Donated on Aug 11, 2023
$25.00
  • Bruno Ochoa
  • Donated on Aug 11, 2023
$12.00
  • Teresa Cardon
  • Donated on Aug 10, 2023
$25.00
  • Stacy Depew
  • Donated on Aug 10, 2023
$20.00
  • Sherry & Ken
  • Donated on Aug 10, 2023
$200.00
Show more donors

Followers

1 followers
Lauren Loy
US$1,112.00
raised of $17,067.00 goal
6% Funded
21 Donors
Raised offline: $3,030.00
Total: $4,142.00

Help this ongoing fundraising campaign by making a donation and spreading the word.

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