Lifestyle & Human Interest

Woman Says Dog Saved Her Life After She Thought She Was Perfectly Fine


Shauna Darcy, a young woman from Australia, credits her service dog, Ruby, with saving her life by detecting an undiagnosed heart disease that threatened to take her owner’s life.

Darcy relies on Ruby, an American Staffordshire Terrier, to get her safely and confidently through each day.

Darcy lives with chronic anxiety, depression and agoraphobia, but having Ruby around has made a positive difference in Darcy’s day-to-day life.

From the beginning, it seemed Ruby was extremely adept at noticing every detail of her young owner’s health and wellbeing.

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“While she was training to be a service dog I noticed that she started picking up on changes in my heart rate and would act funny — for example, paw at me, try to get my attention, get on top of me, etc.,” Darcy told The Dodo.

Ruby’s persistent concern for Darcy prompted the unsuspecting owner to visit her doctor. Through a series of tests, Darcy was diagnosed with a rare condition called vascular Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, which affects the blood vessels in the body, including the heart.

Symptoms can also include lightheadedness and fainting, but thanks to Ruby, Darcy is never alone when she does faint.

“When I pass out she gets on top of me and applies all her pressure on me and licks my hands and face until I come around,” Darcy said.

In early October, while Darcy was feeling perfectly healthy, Ruby suddenly began to display the same behaviors she previously had shown to indicate that something was wrong with Darcy.

Though Darcy did not feel ill, she believed her dog’s sense of urgency and called an ambulance. Ruby was right, as Darcy’s health quickly took a frightening turn for the worse.

“It turns out my heart was going into atrial fibrillation,” Darcy said. “By the time the paramedics came, I was in pain and barely conscious.”

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Darcy was rushed to the hospital, with Ruby by her side. In a heartwarming photo, Ruby was seen laying on the hospital bed beside her sick owner, unwilling to budge until Darcy was recovered.

Ruby quickly became a star at the hospital, credited with saving her owner’s life on that day. Darcy and Ruby already had a tight bond, but now, the bond is even deeper.

“I wouldn’t be alive without her,” Darcy said.

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A graduate of Grand Canyon University, Kim Davis has been writing for The Western Journal since 2015, focusing on lifestyle stories.
Kim Davis began writing for The Western Journal in 2015. Her primary topics cover family, faith, and women. She has experience as a copy editor for the online publication Thoughtful Women. Kim worked as an arts administrator for The Phoenix Symphony, writing music education curriculum and leading community engagement programs throughout the region. She holds a degree in music education from Grand Canyon University with a minor in eating tacos.
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Lifestyle & Human Interest