Thank Team for Performing Rare Heart Surgery to Save Cat’s Life

rare heart sugery veterinarians cardiologists vanilla bean

Target: Veterinarian Josh Stern and Vanilla Bean the cat’s surgical team

Goal: Thank a team of veterinarians and cardiologists for saving a cat’s life by collaborating on a rare heart surgery.

A one-year-old Burmese cat named Vanilla Bean was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect. Fortunately, a group of heart doctors that treats humans teamed up with veterinarians to give one cat a chance at more lives.

Vanilla Bean’s heart was not allowing blood to flow through all of its chambers. As a result the blood began to pool in one of the chambers, causing it to enlarge. If left untreated the cat could have suffered from congestive heart failure, a rare condition for cats.

A successful technique to correct this defect had only been performed once, by veterinarian Josh Stern. Stern is the doctor who operated on Vanilla Bean, but before operating he decided to collaborate with cardiologists from University of California, Davis Medical Center. Even though the condition is rare in both humans and cats Stern knew the cardiologists had seen more cases of this heart defect than he had.

The veterinarians opened Vanilla Bean’s chest. The heart doctors placed balloons in the feline’s heart chambers. A veterinary cardiologist and a pediatric cardiologist used echocardiography to help Stern visualize the cat’s heart. Both monitored the success of every surgical technique used.

Vanilla Bean lost a lot of blood due to a kidney injury but the surgery was a success. The cat was able to go home in eight days and after four months of recuperation an examination revealed Vanilla Bean no longer had congestive heart failure. Stern expects Vanilla Bean to make a complete recovery.

Thank the team of dedicated veterinarians and cardiologists that came together to perform a rare surgery that saved Vanilla Bean the cat’s life.


Dear Mr. Stern and The Vanilla Bean Surgical Team,

I learned about the one-year-old Burmese cat named Vanilla Bean who was diagnosed with a rare congenital heart defect. This cat could have suffered from congestive heart failure but you and the team performed the rare surgery that has apparently saved Vanilla Bean’s life.

I appreciate your dedication to this one cat’s very serious health problem. This collaboration shows that you and the entire team are committed to your work and your patients.

There are always news stories about animals being abused so it was uplifting and moving to read that so much effort had been put into saving one cat’s life. Thank you for the wonderful work you did in collaborating to save Vanilla Bean, the wonderful work you’ve done in the past that allowed to you make this rare surgical moment a success, and the wonderful work I know you will continue to do.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Mikael Tigerström

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  1. Linda Amundson says:

    Thank you Josh Stern and everyone involved with saving Vanilla Bean’s life!

    Kristen Lindsey take note. This is what REAL veterinarians do for cats.

  2. I had a grey persion cat for 15 years, to me it was always a baby, I still miss it and I think about it everyday.

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