Lucky the 2-Headed Calf Desperate for Life-Changing Surgery: 'We Don't Know How Much Time We Have'
Lucky's biggest health challenges are the cleft palates in both mouths that stop her from eating and growing to a normal weight.
Lucky the 2-headed calf has beaten all odds of survival by making it to 13 weeks, but she is now being faced with the opportunity to receive life-changing surgery, if her family can raise the money to pay for it.
According to Brandy McCubbin, who considers the calf a member of her family, Lucky has been thriving since her birth at their farm in Taylor County, Kentucky in September that shocked the entire family. She said the longest living two-faced calf before Lucky came along survived only 40 days.
"She's healthy right now and doing well," McCubbin told InsideEdition.com "We really don't know how much time we have but we're just doing the best we can."
Although the cow goes through stretches of being sick, McCubbin said the biggest health challenge facing the calf is her cleft palate in both mouths.
Lucky has a hard time eating out of both mouths, McCubbin said, but they both work.
Three times a day, Lucky is fed a ground up mixture of protein feed from a bottle, McCubbin said. If Lucky attempts to eat like a regular calf, "the hay will get stuck and it gets in her nose. We have to pull it out."
Even so, Lucky only weighs 85 or 90 pounds — just more than half what a cow is supposed to weigh at 13 weeks.
"She's maintaining weight but she's not really growing a lot," McCubbin said. "She needs to eat some hay and feed so she can grow."
A veterinary team at the University of Illinois has agreed to evaluate Lucky in a CT scan, to see if she will be eligible for the surgery. After the three-day procedure, staff will then decide whether or not they can operate in a surgery that will last 10 more days.
The team will also operate on two of Lucky's four eyes, that share an eye socket, in a cosmetic procedure: "It oozes and doesn't dry completely. We want to fix it to be able to keep it clean."
The family is now appealing to the public for donations on GoFundMe to help support the surgery. According to McCubbin, the CT scan itself will cost $500, and the surgery can cost between $2,000 to $10,000.
Until the surgery, scheduled for January, McCubbin said one of her four daughters have even insisted on sleeping next to the calf in the basement for the rest of her Christmas holiday from school.
"She really loves Lucky," McCubbin said.
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