ALAMEDA, Calif. (WISH) — A California man is cashing in his life savings to try to save his dog’s life in hopes that a rare surgery will give him more time with his best friend.
12-year-old Lola, a miniature schnauzer, is suffering from a life-threatening heart condition.
“We had an episode in November where she came back from a walk and she fainted. She has an enlarged heart because she has a damaged what’s called a mitral valve,” said Jason Garrett, Lola’s owner.
In Lola’s case, she has just months to a year to live.
Garrett says Lola, who is a certified therapy dog, has saved his life countless times.
“I suffer from severe depression and bipolar disorder. The reason I continue to survive and even thrive with the disease is Lola,” said Garrett.
Today he has hopes that an open-heart surgery, which was pioneered by Japanese doctor Masami Uechi, will save Lola’s life. His surgeries have a 90% success rate, but it costs $45,000.
“I’ve already cashed out my 401(k) and using every penny of my savings,” Garrett said. “And I’m also looking into selling my car if need be.”
The surgery was only available in Japan, until recently. Now surgeons are being trained to perform the surgery in Florida.
With Lola’s surgery scheduled for this summer in Florida, Garrett now has peace of mind that Lola will live at least another four years.
“Anything for Lola. She’s family.”
Garrett has set up a GoFundMe to help offset the cost of the surgery and travel expenses.
CNN Newsource contributed to this report.