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July 23 , 2007

An Eagle Named Freedom

My True Story of a Remarkable Friendship


From the moment Jeff Guidry saw the emaciated baby eagle with broken wings, his life was changed. For weeks he and the staff at Sarvey Wildlife Care Center tended to the grievously injured bird. Miraculously, she recovered, and Jeff, a center volunteer, became her devoted caretaker.

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Though Freedom would never fly, she had Jeff as her wings. And after Jeff was diagnosed with stage 3 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2000, Freedom returned his gift. Between sessions of debilitating chemotherapy, Jeff went back to Sarvey and began taking Freedom for walks that soothed his spirit and gave him the strength to fight. When he learned he was cancer free, Jeff's first stop was Sarvey to walk with Freedom. Somehow this special bird seemed to understand the significance of the day. For the very first time she wrapped both her wings around Jeff, enveloping him in an avian hug.

In March 2008, Jeff shared his extraordinary experience with his friend Gayle in an e-mail of eight hundred words:

When Freedom came in she could not stand. Both wings were broken, her left wing in 4 places. . . . We here at the Sarvey Wildlife Care Center made the decision to give her a chance at life. . . .

That e-mail would unexpectedly circle the globe and inspire countless fans eager to know more. In An Eagle Named Freedom, Jeff tells the full story of his bond with Freedom and introduces the other wildlife and volunteers who have been saved by Sarvey. A tender tale of hope, love, trust, and life, this moving true story is an affirmation of the spiritual connection that humans and animals share.

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