‘She’s family’: Man cashing in 401K, life savings to pay for dog’s life-saving surgery

A California man is cashing in his 401K and life savings to pay for surgery that his beloved dog must undergo to survive.

Jason Garrett’s 12-year-old Miniature Schnauzer, Lola, may be full of vim and vigor but she also suffers from a life-threatening condition.

“We had an episode in November where she came back from a walk and she fainted,” Garrett told KGO-TV. “She has an enlarged heart because she has a damaged what’s called a mitral valve.”

Lola, a certified therapy dog, is in the pre-stages of heart failure and only has about a year left to live.

Garrett says Lola 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,” Garrett said.

Garrett is hoping to come up with enough money to pay for a special open-heart surgery that was pioneered by Japanese doctor Masami Uechi. His surgeries are said to have a 90 percent success rate but there’s a catch.

“It’s about $45,000. I’ve already cashed out my 401K and using every penny of my savings,” Garrett said. “And I’m also looking into selling my car if need be.”

Up until recently, the surgery was only available in Japan. Surgeons are now being trained to do the procedure in Florida.

“Right now it’s a very unique and very high skilled procedure that’s a combination of different teams from around the world coming together,” animal cardiologist Justin Williams said.

Lola is slated to undergo surgery in Florida this summer. If successful, she’ll live at least another four years.

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