Diane's Diary #14: Seizure Detection Service Dogs Part 1
Updated: Sep 20, 2020
Note: This is Excerpt #14 in Diane’s Diary. If you would like to read previous excerpts, you can find Diane’s Diary 1-13 here.
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My dad is a board member of an organization called Josh Provides, which is an epilepsy assistance foundation. Josh Provides supports those living with seizure disorders by offering community education & awareness, local support groups and financially helping them with medical services, seizure detection devices, and transportation costs. One of the services they offer is to help provide seizure detection or response dogs.
This is, of course, fascinating to me.
According to Josh Provides website: “Seizure response dogs can be wonderful service dogs for people living with epilepsy. If properly trained, dogs can alert an individual when a seizure is occurring, lay between the floor and the person having a seizure to protect them from injury, get help and signal their owner to get into a safe position before the seizure occurs. The process of securing a seizure response dog is both long and expensive and families must do due diligence in selecting a breeder and trainer.”
I was at an event with my dad in April 2019, and the Executive Director of Josh Provides, Andria, was there too. Andria and my dad have a great relationship and I introduced myself. This was before I had started filming anything and I told her that I was planning on making a documentary film about many of the ways that animals help people, including service dogs. She was very excited about the idea of this film and told me about a family that they were helping to get a seizure detection dog for the daughter.
We didn’t have a lot of time to chat, but we reconnected that week via email.
A few weeks later I was writing a paper for school and wanted to include what I knew about this girl who has an epilepsy diagnosis and was waiting for her seizure dog. Only I didn’t feel comfortable writing about something that wasn’t public knowledge, even if it was only for my professor’s eyes. So, I called Andria and asked her if I could share what she told me. She said she would ask.
A few days later I got a call back from Andria and she said she had spoken with the family. Not only did the family say it was fine for me to mention their story in my paper, but they also wanted to participate in the film! I then connected with Erin, the mom, and Kaitlyn the daughter, to talk about their experiences so far. We will save that for another post and there is a lot more to the story. They asked their neurologist if he was interested in participating in the film and he said yes, and they spoke with the dog trainers at Perfect Fit Canines and they were interested in participating as well.
Come back next time and learn more about how long they’ve been waiting for their dog, what’s next for this family, and what we did next.
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