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Help Heal Ellie

$13,090raised of $15,000 goal
87%

Organizer: Cassie Howard Beneficiary: Ellie May

On 11/5/13 there was an explosion which destroyed my apartment building. My kitty Ellie was trapped for 6 hours in the burning building until a heroic fireman went in to pull her out.

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Fundraiser Details

Life can change in a second. On the morning of Tuesday, November 5th my apartment was in an explosion the started from the unit directly across the hall from mine. The cause of the explosion is still unknown.

My only thought was that my 1 year old cat Ellie was still inside. My boss walked over there with me, while the whole time I was hoping that he had made a mistake and that it was a different building on fire. When we were close enough to see the building, it was for sure mine. I almost threw up. Every part of my body went numb as I watched helplessly as my life literally went up in flames. I kept pleading with everyone and anyone who would listen to please save my cat. I had this feeling that she was alive and was hiding under my bed. 

After 6 hours of standing in the rain and refusing to move from where I could see where most of my apartment was, a fireman approached me. He saw I was wearing my Pro Club uniform and informed me that he used to work at Pro Club in the 90's. He said it was like a family there, and family helps each other out. He told me that he was personally going to go in a find Ellie. Within minutes of climbing through my broken and burnt bedroom window he emerged holding onto my little girl. She had ben hiding under what was left of my bed. it was the best moment of my life, during the worst day of my life! 

Ellie was rushed to a local animal hospital and was started on pain medication and antibiotics. She had xrays, blood work taken, and IV fluids as well. They found a spot on her right lung that was burnt. The following morning her burns had progressed and she lost most of the fur on her left front leg and belly. The pads of her feet are badly burnt as well. She inhaled smoke for 6 hours inside my bedroom which had practically turned into a furnace. She was transfered to Seattle Veterinary Specialists on 11/6/13 to be carefully watched by respiratory specialists since her breathing is pretty labored. They have been giving her high flow oxygen. She may require a skin graft on her burnt body. Her medical bills are piling up like crazy, we are hoping to raise enough to cover them. She's got a rough couple of months ahead of her until she fully recovers, but she is one tough cookie :)

I may have lost all my things, but I didn't lose everything. I will rebuild and move forward, I just feel so blessed to have Ellie girl alive. She is the one thing I cared about losing. Thank you for all your love and support!!

Here is King 5's video coverage on the story: http://www.king5.com/news/local/Redmond-apartment-fire-230654081.html

You can also "Like" Ellie's facebook page where I will be posting updates to as well: www.facebook.com/helphealellie
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Updates

Updates

01/26/2014
by Cassie Howard
Hello everyone! Ellie is doing great! She is pretty much through all the tough points on her road to recovery, and now she just has a lot of rehabilitation to go through. After her last surgery she had a seizure as she was waking up. SVS kept her overnight to monitor her and she did not have another one.

When I picked her up the following day, I got her home and realized that her tail was about an inch shorter...I was very concerned so I called and asked what happened, and they weren't sure since nothing was done to her tail. Then the vet tech called back and said that they looked in her bedding and found the end of her tail. It orginally had a burn from the fire and appeared to have been smashed somehow as well. They said that the end of her tail was dead and was just being held on by the scab on her tail that happened to heal and fall off naturally when she was there. It is not causing her any pain and is pretty much healed over so nothing will be done about it. 

It's hard to believe that almost 12 weeks ago our whole lives were changed so suddenly. I am thrilled that Ellie is finished with surgeries and is healthy. She is literally the only thing I cared about, and like I've said a hundred times before I feel so blessed that she is alive and doing better! Thank you for all the continued emails, letters, cards, prayers, good thoughts, and love :) We love you all and appreciate it more than words can explain! 
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01/02/2014
by Cassie Howard
Greetings everyone! I hope your Christmas and New Year's was as special as ours was! I am very happy to report that Miss Ellie is doing wonderful. She is playful again, she loves to play hide and seek (like old times), and is as loving and friendly as ever! Her bandage changes are going as planned and her burn is continuing to heal. I can tell the wound is starting to become slightly itchy since she keeps trying to lick her shoulder where the E-Collar is. 

I am also excited to share that on Decemeber 26th I got engaged to my high school sweetheart :) Ellie, Ryan, and I can't wait to officially be a little family! I posted a picture of the three of us right after the proposal. The ring was tied around Ellie's neck, I love that she was able to be part of the special moment!! 

We are hopefully that 2014 will continue to bring a year full of love and happiness! 
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12/22/2013
by Cassie Howard
Hello everyone! Little miss Ellie is doing great. She has not had pain meds in 10 days! Yay! Her bandage change on Wednesday went as scheduled and they said that she is continuing to heal beautifully! Her next appointment in on Monday. The staff at SVS are fantastic! They clearly love what they do and they are also great at what they do, so that makes bringing her there so much easier. 

Ellie and I are going to go to my parents for Christmas! She has become a good little co-poilet in the car! Plus she loves my mom's cooking so she will be very content. 

Before the fire, Ellie used to spend a lot of the day sitting on the window sill, people and bird watching. Since the fire she sadly has not been able to get up to the window sill, until Friday when the ramp I ordered her came! She is now able to walk up to the window (she is under a strict no jumping rule until fully healed) and sit on her new memory foam window perch. She actually didn't even sleep with me last night, instead she slept on her perch and was up a lot of the night looking out the window. Life is slowly returning to a new normal :) 
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12/13/2013
by Cassie Howard
Hello everyone! Ellie had a bandage change on Wednesday that went very well! The doctors said that she is continuing to heal wonderfully, and her next bandage change on the 18th. She also had stitches removed on her belly and inner thigh. She now no longer had any visible stitches or wounds, the only thing she has left to heal is now her front left leg, yay!

She has been playing some lately and has had a lot more energy! She is very curious about our new apartment and has been exploring :) the maintenance people at Hampton Greens finally put in a new smoke alarm yesterday since the old one in here was hypersensitive and would go off from shower steam. It was terrible and made Ellie and myself so jumpy. I'm still not sure why it took 4 weeks for them to replace it, but I'm thankful for my new one. 



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12/05/2013
by Cassie Howard
Today marks one month since the exposition. Our lives were forever changed on November 5th. But the good news is Ellie has healed so much in the month! She had her first round of stitches out yesterday. The doctors said that she is continuing to heal great. Her spirit and personality have not changed a bit! She is getting around so much better, although she still is limping. She is only needing her pain meds every 10-12 hours compared to when she needed them every 6-8 hours. Her treatment plan hasn't changed since last week, so her next procedure is another bandage change on Wednesday.

Ellie and I cannot thank everyone enough for all your love, prayers, kindness, and generosity over the last month. God and people really are good and we shall continue to heal (me emotionally and her physically) and move forward. I'm very optimistic for what life has in store for us next!
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11/29/2013
by Cassie Howard
Ellie girl has been doing very well over the last few days! She had a bandage change on Wednesday, where they were able to remove her drain in her belly as well. Her treatment plan is have two more bandage changes, and then to have her skin graft. They said she is healing up very well!

Ellie and I were able to come visit my parents for Thanksgiving! Both of us do not want to be away from each other, so I am very glad she is well enough to travel for a short time.

This year, I am so thankful for life. My world has been turned upside down in the past month, and I never realized how lucky I was to have such a strong and wonderful support group. Life is far too short and unpredictable to have a heart partially filled with hatred and regret. Life is neither fair or explainable at times, but life is so full of love and grace that is makes everything else seem conquerable. 
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11/25/2013
by Cassie Howard
Ellie is home again after another procedure this morning on her burns. They were able to close up 2 more burns, now there is just her front left leg that is not closed out of the major burns. She did have some dead space in her belly when they went to close that one up, so they placed a drain in her abdominal region for the next few days to catch all the fluid draining. I wish I could fast forward a few months down the road and have her all healed up. I am so pleased with how well she is healing up, but my heart continues to hurt knowing the pain and terror she went through. It's moments in life like these that define a person, moments where you have to choose to fight for the ones you love and do whatever it takes to help get them better. I will continue to do whatever it takes (at whatever cost) to help heal my Ellie. We have increased our goal amount due to the extra costs of her recent procedures, and the estimated anount if her ones to come. I cannot describe how much all of the kind words and generosity means to us! Please continue to share her story!
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11/23/2013
by Cassie Howard
Good morning everyone! Ellie had a bandage change yesterday. Her doctors said things are continuing to heal up nicely. They even removed her feeding tube since she is eating on her own! She will have another treatment on her burns on Monday, where they plan to stitch closed the large burn on her belly as well. I am so impressed with how well she handles all these treatments. She is such a strong little girl!!

It seems unreal that two and a half weeks ago our lives were changed so suddenly. After seeing the state of my bedroom where Ellie was hiding, it is a miracle that she lived, let alone the fact she was trapped in there for over 6 hours. Your continued love, support, and prayers are keeping us strong. I have read every card, message, comment, and donation note to her. If you wrote it, she's heard it :) 
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11/20/2013
by Cassie Howard
Ellie is doing good today! She is resting comfortably on my lap right now and has been very talkative to me today. So much must have happened yesterday at SVS that she wants to tell me about! They were able to close 2 out of her 4 large burns with stiches yesterday, yay!! That is such great news! The surgeon said it was all healthy tissue under the dead tissue on those 2 spots. She still will need a skin graft on her front left shoulder in the next few weeks to come.

I have created a facebook page for her, www.facebook.com/helphealellie that you can also "Like" to follow her progress.
Okay, I admit it. I am a crazy cat lady and I wouldn't have it any other way :) 
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Okay, I admit it. I am a crazy cat lady and I wouldn't have it any other way :) ">


11/19/2013
by Cassie Howard

Hello everyone! Ellie is having another procedure on her burns right now as I type. She has been doing really well at home (I haven't had to use her feeding tube at all. She is eating and drinking on her own, yay!) and they are hopeful that she can come back home after her treatment tonight. She will need several more within the next few days/weeks. They did find Ellie has a heart murmur, which could be nothing or it could be a sign of stress, infection, ect. We have increased our goal amount since she is now going to have a cardiologist workup and an ultrasound on her heart to check if all the valves are working properly. Also, since burns are so unpredictable that it is hard for the surgeon to develop a treatment plan since it really is a day-by-day case. She will need several treatments on her burns before having the grafts done. Ellie continues to improve daily! We are so grateful and amazed by the support we are receiving! I don't know how I would cope with all this without Ellie, and all of your love and prayers.

It saddens me to write this, but a wonderful woman who was the first female mayor of Bellevue and my neighbor in my old building has passed away today. She was hospitalized due to the fire. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family. I am so sorry for your loss, she was such an inspiration to everyone who knew her! 


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11/16/2013
by Cassie Howard
Ellie is home!! Yay!! She will have to go back in to have more treatments done on her burns on Tuesday, then skin grafting a few days after that. She has ate quite a bit since she's been home, which is great! We may not need to use her feeding tube at all. She spent most of last night cuddled up by my head :) what a sweetie! She has been talking to me a lot today like she used to. I am so relieved that she seems to be feeling okay besides the burns. She is still in pain meds to help her feel more comfortable. Thank you for your continued love, prayers, and support! God and people are good, and we will get through this!
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11/14/2013
by Cassie Howard
Goodmorning everyone! Here is an update on little miss Ellie. She had a laser surgery done yesterday to remove the dead tissue and which will aid in healing of healthy tissue. The surgen called and said the surgery went great, she is a little fighter (and strong willed like her mom :). They have put honey on her burns to help aid in healing and fight off bacteria. I am able to pick her up on Friday afternoon and bring her back in for bandage changes. Ellie is scheduled to have skin grafts on the very burnt areas in about 9-10 days. She will have to stay a few days at SVS again for that, but then is expected to be able to come home and recover with frequent vists to check on her burns and healing progress. I can't believe we are almost to our goal amount! Ellie and I are SO loved and blessed by all your kindness, generousity, and prayers! Please continue to share her story!
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11/12/2013
by Cassie Howard
I received a call from the surgen this evening informing me that Ellie is having a laser procedure done tomorrow. She will likely have this done several times. It is to help aid in the healing process by removing the surrounding dead tissue so new tissue can grow in. He also informed me that she will likely need skin grafts in about 2 weeks, pending on how the burns look tomorrow after the procedure. Due to the estimated amount of the procedures I have increased our goal amount. She will need an even more extended stay at SVS, which will all aid in her healthy recovery. Ellie girl is SO brave! I am amazed by her and her will to live. The doctors said they eventually expect a full recovery. We are truly blessed to have each other, and the continued support from countless people! I wish there was a way to express how grateful we are for all the love and generousity. Thank you again. Please continue to share Ellie's story until she is home safely in my arms!!
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11/11/2013
by Cassie Howard
Update: Ellie is still at SVS. They have upped her pain medication frequency to help manage her pain better. She has an appointment to meet with the surgeon tomorrow morning to discuss the possiblility  of skin grafts.  We have increased the goal amount due to Ellie's extended stay in the hospital. Thank you all for you continued love, support, and prayers! They are helping us stay strong :)
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11/09/2013
by Cassie Howard
I wanted to update everyone on how little Ellie girl is doing. She is no longer requiring oxygen and is tolerating syringe feeding. She still is not eating on her own yet though. Her pain medication is helping her to be as comfortable as possible. She is very alert. Ellie has a follow up appointment sometime next week to have her burns reevaluated and decide if they are healing well on their own or if they require grafting. Thank you to everyone who has donated, shared, sent good thoughts and prayers her way, and your kindness! Ellie and I appreciate it more than you can imagine!! :)
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