Redwings celebrate very special animal hero

Rourke giving blood 600 teaser[87]

Redwings is celebrating a very special animal hero who helped to save the life of one of his Sanctuary friends. 

As a healthy, heavy horse on no medication, Rourke – a 17hh, Irish Draught cross gelding – was the perfect plasma donor when Coral – another resident – fell ill.

Coral, a 9.2hh piebald mare, who came in as part of a welfare case, was flagged for losing weight and after staff noticed some redworm larvae in her faeces she went downhill quickly, needing urgent supportive care. 

Coral was losing protein from her intestines

Redwings Veterinary Surgeon Dawn Trayhorn oversaw Coral’s care. She said: “Coral was losing protein from her intestines. It was a critical situation, and we could have lost her.


“She wouldn’t have survived without the intensive care she was given, and the plasma from Rourke was vital in getting her to turn the corner.

“Coral is now doing great. She’s back at Redwings Caldecott Visitor Centre and hopefully can be rehomed at some point in the future.

“Rourke did really well during the procedure and had lots of TLC and yummy dinners afterwards. He’s a real animal hero.”

Coral is now feeling much better
Coral is now feeling much better

Dawn added: “It’s amazing when we’re able to save a life. The whole team pulls together in situations like this. It’s difficult, but also what we’re here for. Coral and Rourke are very special to us.”

For more information about how you can support Redwings’ important work please visit


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