Hospital staff saves truck driver’s life, cares for his dog

Mr. Midnight and Jose Carbajal

STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. – Sometimes pets are the forgotten victims when it comes to a medical emergency.

While their owners are being tended to, there can be a desperate search to find someone to take care of them.

When it came to truck driver Jose Carbajal, he didn’t have to search far to find his guardian angel.

Carbajal, from Texas, was driving through Georgia with his dog Mr. Midnight, when he decided to finally stop at the nearest hospital after enduring 17 hours of stomach pain.

After a Google search, he saw Piedmont Henry Hospital was the closest hospital in Stockbridge.

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”It was a rough ride. When I learned I had to have surgery, I was more worried about my puppy inside the truck. Before I got into the elevators, a very special nurse to me – Miss Wendy Johnson – came running up beside the gurney and told me, ‘don’t you worry about a thing. We have Mr. Midnight and we have someone coming to get him. Everything is going to be fine.’”

A CT scan showed that Carbajal’s appendix was on the verge of rupturing. He was rushed into surgery and spent about a week in the hospital.

But Carbajal didn’t have to worry about what would happen with Mr. Midnight – a technician, Deanna Mahaley, took his precious pup home with her family.

“Not everyone is going to open the door knowing there is a pit bull inside,” Carbajal said. “We all know pit bulls get such a bad rap. [Deanna’s husband] opened the door and climbed into the truck. Animals know people with a good heart so it didn’t take much for Mr. Midnight to get into his lap and start licking him.”

April Dean, nurse at Piedmont Henry, heard Carbajal’s story and was determined to help. Her husband brought Carbajal pajamas and other clothes so that he could be comfortable during his stay. A few days later, Carbajal was being discharged when Mahaley’s family came with Mr. Midnight to visit.

But the hospitality didn’t stop at Mr. Midnight.

“My plans were to climb back in my truck and rest in the sleeper until I felt better,” Carbajal said. “They took me home and gave me a bed to sleep in and that means so much to me. It is good to know this world still has people like that. I stayed the night and the next morning, Miss Wendy Johnson opened the doors to her house so I could recuperate before I got back on the road.”

Carbajal, who was eager to get home to his wife and five children, hit the road with Mr. Midnight three days after he left Piedmont Henry and started their 1,000-mile journey back home to Texas.

“I’m used to having doors closed in my face because I’m tattooed from head to toe,” Carbajal said. “I’ve lived a rough life and I’ve never had so many people be so nice to me and welcome me with open arms the way they did. It just touched my heart so much that people were going out of their way to help.”

© 2017 Cox Media Group.