29 Oct Smart Pup for Aria (297216)
See, I was born at 35 weeks with a very rare illness called Pierre Robin Sequence (PRS). This means that I was born with a small jaw, club feet and a cleft palate which impacted my ability to breathe, eat and later, speak properly. My mum and dad stayed by my side during my care at the Royal Children’s NICU. It was a very scary time, but none of us gave up.
At 13 weeks of age, I had surgery on my jaw to help it move forward and stop my tongue from falling back obstructing my airways. Unfortunately, though I suffered from a stroke during this surgery, caused by a very small hole in my heart that hadn’t been found before then.
At 18 months I had my first seizure. My temperature shot up to 40 degrees very suddenly and mum had to call an ambulance as I became nonresponsive and was shaking. This has happened numerous times since – the doctors confirmed it as epilepsy. They explained my EEG results show a pattern of someone who has had a brain injury, so it’s likely derived from my stroke.
The seizures are a part of my daily life now. It’s challenging to live with them as I don’t know when they are coming and am often unresponsive during them so I can’t ask for help when I need it.
Fortunately, I have been approved for a Seizure Alert Assistance Dog! Mum has explained to me that having a dog like this means that it will alert someone when I’m having a seizure, or if I fall, and help me when I have an anxiety attack or need comfort. It’s expensive though, because there’s a lot of training costs involved to teach a dog to properly support their human; to recognize when I’m in need of assistance and act accordingly – they’re so clever, it’s a lot to learn!
Having access to such an amazing support is going to change my life in so many positive ways – my day-to-day functioning will become smoother and less stressful, my anxiety will begin to be eased, and I’ll look forward to being able to participate in activities with my friends in my community again! I can find it hard to do things independently at the moment as I’m easily overwhelmed and fall over a lot with my seizures and cerebral palsy.
Any help that you can give us to reach our goal is so appreciated – even assisting to spread word of my story is a great way to contribute, as it has the potential to help my story get seen by many more people!
Hopefully we can raise the $20,000 we need, by using channels such as this one!
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