On the night of September 14, something heart-wrenching happened in our quiet Orlando, Florida neighborhood. Our beloved neighbor, Stevie, a spirited five-year-old golden retriever, was hit by a motorcycle right in front of her family’s home. It was a scene that would forever change the lives of those who witnessed it.
Stevie’s owner, Marisol Serrano, shared the heartbreaking details with WESH. Her daughter, filled with dread, saw the driver hit Stevie and callously speed away. “She called the dog, and [Stevie] got up and just collapsed,” Serrano recounted. It’s the kind of moment that shatters your sense of security in your own neighborhood.
In a frantic rush, Serrano transported Stevie to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic. The diagnosis was grim: multiple broken ribs and a punctured lung. After a lifesaving surgery to remove part of the damaged lung, our furry friend spent six agonizing days in the ICU. We anxiously waited for any glimmer of hope.
Meanwhile, in our tight-knit neighborhood, an incredible show of kindness was unfolding. Word quickly spread about Stevie’s plight, and the neighborhood kids decided to take action. Eleven youngsters, including 11-year-old Jules, united to set up a lemonade stand. Their mission? To raise money for Stevie’s mounting medical bills, which ultimately totaled around $13,000. It was Jules who conceived the idea, saying, “I felt really bad, so I wanted to help. And I told my mom about the idea, and she said it was a good idea.”
Days passed, and Stevie’s condition improved enough for her to return home. This is when the kids, our little heroes, presented Serrano with envelopes brimming with the funds they had collected through their lemonade stand. The grand total: $403. Serrano was overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude, saying, “This has been a horrible and beautiful experience for me. My dog almost got killed in front of my daughter, but let me tell you… these kids! They literally changed my way of thinking about how cruel this world is. There is humanity after all, when they came to my door… I cried!”
The outpouring of support didn’t stop there. So many people inquired about how they could contribute that Serrano decided to establish a GoFundMe page to assist with Stevie’s ongoing treatment, which includes physical therapy and at least one more surgery to remove dead skin. Serrano marveled at the incredible love and compassion she witnessed, exclaiming, “The amount of love has been so overwhelming and beautiful! God is so good to us, even our furry kids!”
Today, Stevie is back home, on the road to recovery, surrounded by a community that showed immense compassion during her darkest hours. It’s a story that serves as a powerful reminder that even in the face of adversity, the human spirit’s capacity for kindness and love knows no bounds.