Amigo Returns Home After Tree Branch Impalement

A horse that was given only a 2% chance of survival four months ago, following a freak accident, was discharged from the University of Tennessee Equine Hospital April 18.

About 100 well-wishers were present to celebrate Amigo's recovery. The 10-year-old Arabian endurance horse has been fighting for his life at the UT Equine Hospital since January after a 3-foot-long branch somehow pierced his side.

Amigo's owner, Gary Sanderson, is ecstatic to have him home at his farm in Luttrell, Tenn. "He's really a miracle walking," said Sanderson April 19. "There were times I never thought he'd come home."

Over the last few months, Amigo had built a following of almost 9,000 fans on Facebook. They followed his recovery with daily updates from Sanderson. Amigo pulled through several setbacks, including a blood clot in his brain, a lethally low blood platelet count, and a collapsed lung.

Donors around the world came together to cover the costs of Amigo's veterinary care, which totaled around $32,000. That generosity prompted Sanderson to establish the Amigo Legacy of Hope Fund, which will help with the veterinary costs for another owner who brings a horse suffering a catastrophic injury to UT.

"This has really grown beyond me," said Sanderson. "I never thought so many people would care."

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Liz Brown

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