JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It was an uphill battle for Catherine Osias. Her 8-year-old daughter, Kailey, suffers from silent seizures and was diagnosed with epilepsy last February.
The disease is a neurological disorder affecting the central nervous system in which brain activity becomes abnormal, often resulting in seizures, according to the Mayo Clinic.
It took Catherine months to learn the signs to look out for before her daughter had a fit.
“I have to know where she is at every point in this house because her seizures are so dynamic,” Catherine said.
Even then, Kailey is still in danger.
This is why they take the necessary steps to have their family dog Kairo undergo assistance dog training.
“A service dog will be able to sense a seizure coming on,” said Catherine.
Catherine had no luck finding a dog trainer who would take Kairo until Canines 4 Hope arrived.
Now Kairo is enrolled in a six month course to become a epileptic seizure alert dog. These dogs are trained to call for help during a seizure, keep objects away from a person, detect an impending seizure and more.
As a purebred golden retriever, Kairo was the perfect candidate. But this special training doesn’t come cheap.
“It’s $ 12,000 for the training just so I just pay for the standard training,” Catherine said.
That’s a sky-high price on top of Kailey’s ongoing medical bills.
“I just scratch, scratch where I can. To ask. Borrow, ”said Catherine.
But she says having a service dog isn’t a desire but a need for Kailey.
“I’ve been told many times that if it doesn’t go well with her seizures, she could die. It is a disease from which they die, ”said Catherine.
Using Kairo as a service dog will relieve Catherine of some of her duties of watching over Kailey so that she can do more work.
“I would hate if finances were the reason I lost my child,” Catherine said.
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