Hannah, a 12-year-old girl diagnosed with Giant Coronary Artery Aneurysm from North Bend, Oregon, has received a lifesaving Seizure Response Dog from Service Dogs by SDWR.
PRESS RELEASE UPDATED: DEC 5, 2017
A 12-year-old girl named Hannah from North Bend, Oregon has just received a lifesaving Seizure Response Dog from Service Dogs by SDWR. Service Dogs by SDWR, also known as “SDWR,” has a mission to provide specially bred and trained dogs for adults and children with invisible disabilities like Autism Spectrum Disorder, PTSD, Diabetes, or in the case of Hannah — Seizure Disorder. Hannah’s labrador retriever service dog, named “Sarge,” has already begun its training as a Seizure Response service dog and it will continue to learn under the careful guidance of a certified trainer from Service Dogs by SDWR and through the rapport it develops with Hannah.
At the age of only 4-years-old, Hannah developed Kawasaki syndrome and after spending 9 days in the hospital she was diagnosed. “Unfortunately, after a certain number of days, Kawasaki disease will spread to the heart. This caused a giant Aneurysm and some smaller ones. Since the Aneurysm was too big to heal, Hannah is on blood thinners,” says Hannah’s father, Jerry. Two years later after this incident occurred, Hannah developed seizures, which prompted Hannah’s parents to research into Seizure Response Dogs in order to provide her with more comfort and safety.
A Seizure Response service dog, such as Sarge, is trained to assist with tasks such as activating life-alert systems, finding someone to help during or after a seizure and stimulating a person during a seizure. These specially trained service dogs are also taught how to retrieve a phone or medications or food after a seizure has occurred. These amazing dogs can also be trained to dial 911 on an emergency K9 phone and they also serve to act as a brace to help a seizure sufferer rise up after a seizure. Sarge is trained to alert Hannah’s parents to seizures, soften falls, as well as guard her during a seizure.
Now with the arrival of Sarge, Hannah will have a four-legged tool that has received fundamental training to not only assist Hannah during her seizures but also help her live a more independent and less anxiety-filled life. Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Hannah’s service dog will be able to accompany her to all her favorite activities such as her girls group, youth group, movies, out to eat, and even bowling.
What sets SDWR apart from other nonprofit service dog organizations are the customized training methodsand careful considerations that SDWR makes in order to match service dogs to their “person.” Hannah’s dog will continue to work with the SDWR trainers over an 18-month training program toward public access training and certification. Through hard work and dedication of the organization and Hannah, they must work together to build on training foundations and fundamentals.
Service Dogs by SDWR is a nonprofit organization based in Madison, Virginia, and relies on donations to help the organization in its mission, “Until there’s a cure … there’s a dog.” To make or donation or learn more about SDWR, please visit the website, https://www.sdwr.org. To learn more about Diabetic Alert Service Dogs visit https://www.sdwr.org/service-dogs/seizure-response/. To find out how you can volunteer or serve as a service dog raiser visit https://www.sdwr.org/volunteers-opportunities/.