November 7, 2009

Rest in Peace, Sabrina. We Did Our Best.

Yanamono:  We spent yet another night docked in the sweltering heat and humidity.  Today I have been in the dining area keeping watch over Sabrina.  The Veterinarians do the majority of work as regards Sabrina, who is struggling to recover from her surgery.  She receives frequent shots of antibiotics and pain medicine.  If I´m alone with her I clean up her vomit and diarrea.  She is overheated, like all of us, but the vets have decided not to give her any food or water because her stomach must be raw.  She has been on IV fluids constantly.  All I can do is comfort her and rub cold water on her ears.  We had a small fan on her as well.  I sat in the dining area with Sabrina.  Danilo, the talented chef on the voyage, joined me.  I made a terrible mistake that I will surely regret for the rest of my life.  Having been ill myself, I could not take any more heat, and I left Sabrina with Danilo.  I went to my cabin for 10 minutes to lie down with my own small fan cooling me.  I heard the generator shut off and wondered why, and worried about Sabrina.  The crew did not turn the generator off.  It had run out of fuel and needed to be re-fueled.  I was not smart in assuming Danilo had the time to sit with Sabrina.  Sabrina died alone.  I do not know why Danilo didn´t come get me immediately.  Marc the Producer returned accompanied by the other vets.  She had died during the short time she was alone and the motor turned off. 

She never fully regained consciousness following the dramatic surgery that could have kept her alive.  All the vets agree they would have performed the same surgery on their own pets.  Yet surgery in these conditions is different.  I will always remain with questions, and everybody felt guilty and there was more than enough blame being passed around.  The whole incident begs the eternal question "When do you let a creature die with dignity?  How far should one go to save a life, despite dramatic, high risks?" 

I NEEDED Sabrina to survive.  I NEEDED her to represent the animals that did not survive.  Despite these feelings, I allowed my personal comfort to take over.  I had a fever and was ill and overheated.  But I was in no danger of dying.  I feel deeply that Luke blames me.  Yet all admit that she was dying, and it could not have been prevented.

Any animal lover and pet owner understands my feelings of regret and pain.  And this, despite only knowing Sabrina a few days.  Rest in Peace Sabrina.


  1. Molly,
    Please don't do this. You had a fever, you could have made yourself sicker. You can't help anyone if you in the hospital. I'm in EMS (as you know) and rescuers safety is more important than patient safety BECAUSE you can not help anyone when you are sick or hurt and someone will need to take care of you instead along with the patient. We can second guess ourselves about everything if you pushed yourself and someone had to leave care of the animals to take you to the hospital. I can't make you think about what I wrote, but I can say please think about it!!!

    Tu amigo de Memphis


  2. Molly, I am so sorry to hear about Sabrina. My heart and thoughts are with you.
    You and the team did everything for her and more, many people would not have done 1% of what you did. I understand the feeling of regret and pain, I've been there. I am sure Sabrina was glad to be in your hands for that short period of time, and I am even more sure that she is in heaven now playing with Lua (my puppy that died) and many other dogs/friends there.


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