Lisa Moss wrote -
A Seizure Dog Will Change Evan's Life
As a family we recently made the monumental decision to welcome a new family member. We are not having a baby or adopting a child, we are getting a service dog to help Evan. We are asking for your help with fundraising and are here to tell our story and share why our son needs a seizure dog...
It’s 3:30 AM and I stir from a light sleep at the quiet sound of my son Evan beginning to have a seizure. Rob hears it too and bolts up saying, “He’s having a seizure.” He reaches for the emergency rescue medicine and I start a timer. We are calm and move swiftly. Most people with epilepsy aren’t given a rescue medication until after the seizure has lasted 5 minutes but because Evan’s seizures are much longer and are hard to stop, we give him the medicine immediately with the hope of halting the seizure quickly. We administer the medication and wait. For 5 minutes we wait. We rub his back and talk to him reassuringly. He doesn’t respond to us and we wait. We watch him seize, watch his body shake, watch the clock. If things go well, the seizure will begin slowing down 5 or 6 minutes after we gave him the rescue medication. If the seizure doesn’t stop, we will give him a second dose and call 911. We have had a team of paramedics in our bedroom many times but Evan has always come out of the seizure as they arrive and has not required an ambulance ride to the hospital.
I wish I could say this doesn’t happen very often, but that’s not the case. Every 8-10 days we go through this jolting experience. Evan sleeps in our bed because we never know when he will have a seizure. Sometimes Evan remembers it, but often he doesn’t. Regardless of our efforts to prevent Evan’s seizures, we have only had limited success.
Evan is 7 years old and has Tuberous Sclerosis Complex and Epilepsy. He began having seizures in his first month of life and by the time he was 4 years old he was having 300-400 seizures a month. At this young age he underwent brain surgery to control his epilepsy and he left the hospital seizure-free. He had freedom from seizures for almost 2 years and is now having them again, although less frequently.
We believe having a seizure dog will be life changing and life saving for Evan. He has been accepted for placement of a 4 Paws for Ability Service Dog that will be trained especially for him as a Seizure Assistance Dog. Some of the tasks his dog will be trained to do include, but are not limited to:
- Seizure Response: respond to seizures so we can act quickly
- Seizure Detection: detect seizure and alert before seizure begins
- Behavior Disruption: distract Evan from self-injurious behavior
- Balance: provide extra support after seizures or from medication
- Tethering: in crowded areas a second lead used for Evan's safety
4 Paws for Ability has a unique approach to placement: they partner with their clients and by doing so are able to place dogs without a long waiting list. It will cost 4 Paws $22,000 to place a dog with Evan. We are committed, as volunteers, to raising $13,000 in support of the 4 Paws mission and can reach our goal with your help. All donations are tax deductible and no donation is too small. Thank you for helping Evan reach this goal and being part of this life changing experience.