Skip to Main Content

The University of Tennessee

The College of Veterinary Medicine

Frequently Used Tools:

News Archive

Celebration of Life for Former ICU Patients

Adapted from address Dr. Adesola Odunayo gave at the inaugural Celebration of Life at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center


(April 2014  Knoxville, TN)-- We are very fortunate to be caretakers of our veterinary patients. We created the Celebration of Life event to honor past patients in the Aslan Intensive Care Unit at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center who not only battled significant medical trials while they were patients here, but were also able to overcome their many adversities. During their time as patients, we witnessed a lot of them battle obstacles, uncertain if they would be able to pull through their medical crisis.


Animals are such amazing creatures, and many of the pets at the Celebration of Life survived because they possess a strong will to live. Being a patient at a veterinary hospital is not easy: imagine being hospitalized and not understanding why you are in a strange place, why many doctors are examining you and putting you on a table for procedures like x-rays, why you are getting an IV (what the heck is an IV?) or why you have to swallow nasty, disgusting drugs. Despite our inability to explain and communicate things to them, our patients know deep down in their hearts that we are there to help them, and that is why they tolerate us. It is very rare that our patients bite or scratch us. They stay brave, hang on to hope, and summon courage to forge on and get better.


But our patients don't check themselves into our ICU. Behind each patient is a committed owner who goes above and beyond to do everything for a beloved pet. We understand the emotional commitment, as well as the financial obligations. We can sense the concern in your voices over the phone and when you visit. And despite the poor outlook, you never gave up and kept going. We are so lucky to have such dedicated owners, because without you, we certainly would not be able to do what we do.


We are also very fortunate to have a dedicated team. Referring practitioners, specialists here at UT, veterinary medical technicians, veterinary assistants, students and staff work tirelessly to make a difference in the lives of our patients.


On a personal note, I want to recognize the person who stirred the idea for this event. I was extremely lucky to work with Dr. Douglass Macintire at Auburn University. An amazing veterinarian, Dr. Macintire was one of the founding members of veterinary emergency and critical care. She pioneered many innovative veterinary advances that are still being used today. But beyond her medical skills, she loved her patients dearly and created a celebration of life ceremony at Auburn so that she could see those patients and celebrate with them. She influenced the lives of many veterinarians and continues to do so. This celebration is in remembrance of all she has done and all her legacy will continue to do.


Dr. Adesola Odunayo is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Emergency and Critical Care at the University of Tennessee Veterinary Medical Center. She is a board-certified Diplomate with the American College of Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care.

 To view informal photos from the event, visit the UTCVM Facebook page.



Posted: 04-29-14 Viewed: 95482 times

Media Relations

Sandra Harbison
College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Tennessee
2407 River Drive
Knoxville, TN 37996

Dog Bite Prevention Knox Cattlemen UT Veterinary MRI