On the freezing evening of December 31, 2016, a Michigan resident named Bob went outside to get a log for his fireplace when he accidentally slipped and fell, resulting in a broken neck.
His Golden Retriever Kelsey, quickly came to her hurt owner’s side.
In a press release from McLaren Northern Michigan—where he was treated—Bob states, “I was screaming for help but my nearest neighbor is about a quarter mile away and it was 10:30 p.m., but my Kelsey came. By morning my voice was gone and I couldn’t yell for help, but Kelsey didn’t stop barking.”
Bob spent an agonizing 20 hours stuck in the snow and frigid temperatures with his devastating injury. He says that Kelsey kept him alive by keeping his body warm and continually barking for help to arrive.
Eventually, Bob lost consciousness and Kelsey let out a “screeching howl” that finally caught the attention of neighbors, who called 911 at 6:30 p.m. on New Year’s Day.
When Bob arrived at McLaren Northern Lights, he had a core body temperature of 70 degrees, in addition to his injuries that included C4-C5 disc herniation, which was “compressing the spinal cord causing acute paraplegia, or weakness or paralysis in the legs. There was also a second disc herniation at C5-C6 with less severe compression on the spinal cord.”
Stunningly, Bob—who was quickly taken into surgery by Chaim Colen, MD, Neurosurgeon at McLaren Northern Michigan— did not suffer from frost bite. This was attributed to Kelsey keeping her body close to her owner in order to keep him warm.
Since his surgery, Catherine Dewey the Communications Specialist at McLaren Northern Michigan, tells PawCulture, “Bob is recovering quickly and is currently going through physical therapy. Kelsey is doing great.”
The amazing rescue is nothing short of a New Year’s miracle and a reminder of a dog’s unyielding love and devotion. “I am so thankful for my two heroes,” Bob says. “Kelsey kept me warm, alert, and never stopped barking for help. Dr. Colen saved my life and ability to move. They are truly heroes and I will be eternally grateful.”
Image via McLaren Northern Michigan Hospital
Aly Semigran is a lifestyle writer for the world, and roommate of Ruby, the cutest dog in the world.