POSTED: Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 9:00am
UPDATED: Saturday, June 23, 2012 - 9:04am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — A Bonita Springs, Florida veterinarian made a big difference in a young girl's life when he removed her pet's tumors free of charge.
Katie West, 13, and her hamster are two of a kind, but Katie and Hammy have more in common than just a friendship.
When Katie was 10 she went through two life saving surgeries to have a tumor removed from her brain, and while she's now doing great, last month she found that wasn't the case for Hammy.
"He was really sick, he started growing tumors. I was freaking out and I didn't really sleep that much," Katie said.
Katie and her mom Karrie took Hammy to Old 41 Animal Hospital in Bonita Springs.
Because she was worried about the $400 procedure to remove the tumors, Karrie told her daughter there was nothing they could do to save him.
"She turns to her mom and looks at her and says, 'Well I don't understand. I had a brain tumor when I was younger, you did surgery and I'm fine. Why can't we do that for Hammy?'" recalled Dr. Scott Gregory, with Old 41 Animal Hospital.
He said at that moment, he knew he couldn't turn them away and offered to do the surgery for free.
"About half his body weight was tumors so we removed them all, cleared it all up and sewed him back together," Dr. Gregory said.
And with that surgery, Hammy's life was saved.
"I don't think you see that in people a lot, the level of compassion that he had, I'm very grateful," Karrie said.
Dr. Gregory says Katie's reaction made it all worth while.
"She was really excited and the smile on her face was just amazing," he said.
Now Hammy is healthy and back to normal and Karrie says that her daughter's smile is just impossible to miss.