For people with disabilities, sometimes a support animal can make all the difference. And for those with epilepsy? A specially trained pet can really provide some much-needed emotional support.
According to the Epilepsy Foundation, “Trained assistance animals can help individuals with seizure disorders feel more relaxed, positive and better able to manage their condition.”
Brandon McMillan, a celebrity animal behaviorist, told the foundation that “many may not know about the invaluable impact that assistance dogs can have for those households coping with a seizure disorder.”
Summer Shott of Raynes Park, London, recently experienced that “invaluable impact” when she was gifted something very special for her 16th birthday.
When her mom, Cherie Johnson, told her daughter to read her birthday card out loud, Summer had no idea what was about to happen next.
Watch the ‘Magical’ Moment #Epileptic #Teen is Surprised With Her Own Therapy #Dog for Her Birthday https://t.co/uv6IBOKMSC#Epilepsy #BringJoy #dogsoftwitter #DogLover #dogcelebration#GoodNews @goodnewsnetwork
— BringJoyCreatePeaceSeekJusticeFindTruthBeLove (@BringJoyBeLove) June 1, 2019
“Is he really mine?” the ecstatic and emotional teen asked the camera. “He’s yours, darling,” her mom replied.
“I knew Summer would be ecstatic but her reaction was absolutely magical,” Johnson told Caters News Agency. “I’m so proud of her instant reaction to protect him, she thought her crying would scare him and that was the biggest concern for her, not being in his face and getting excited. It was all about making him feel safe.”
According to the video’s caption, just before receiving the pup, Summer had stayed at the hospital following “a bout of epileptic attacks.” It was then doctors suggested the idea of a support animal.
“Having a support dog means she comes home every day to her own little friend,” Johnson told Caters. “Since having him she looks forward to the weekend, she’s got someone to look after rather than her always being looked after and it’s given her so much confidence.”
“Her anxiety levels have dropped dramatically,” she went on, “and she hasn’t had any of the bigger seizures since she came out of hospital.”
Johnson explained how her daughter has dealt with bullying by kids at school. Summer’s new furry friend will help relieve some of the stress that comes from that as well.
What a sweet and heartwarming moment and a good reminder that it’s the little things that sometimes make the biggest impacts in our lives.
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