My husband and I learned about Madison not long after she was born. She was just 18 months old when she came to live with us, and we had no idea what her (dis)abilities were. I didn’t even know how to use her gtube. We adopted her on her third birthday!
The day she had a huge seizure and we went to the trauma room of Texas Children’s, I had a huge knot in my stomach; this is when I knew WE were her parents!
Madison was born at 24 weeks gestation (6 months into pregnancy) and had to be resuscitated; she suffered a grade 4 brain bleed as well as a seizure at birth, she also had to have several emergency surgeries and was given a 50% chance to live she spent 5 months in NICU. She has Cerebral Palsy, Scoliosis, Seizures, Hydrocephalus, and Acid Reflux she is super sweet, and has the most contagious laugh!
Recently we completed fundraising for a Seizure Alert/multi purpose service dog for Madison. Her service dog will be trained to not only detect seizures, but also to alert her parents; possibly before they even happen, and then comfort her after the seizure. Seizures can be extremely alarming to Madison, especially afterwards, and the ability for the dog to help give her a frame of reference, and then comfort following this traumatic event, is quite certainly priceless. Her service dog will additionally be trained to perform mobility assistance tasks. This includes pushing buttons for doors and elevators, bringing dropped toys, and much more.
We will need to travel to Ohio to train with her future service dog. Traveling by car is hard on Madison, A she has had seizures while traveling by car, and we must make many stops to rest. To reach 4 Paws for Ability in Xenia, Ohio we would have to drive over 20 hours with the fear of having an unpredictable number of seizures, as they happen with out warning. To have the opportunity to fly to Ohio to get Madison her service dog would greatly increase her quality of life throughout the experience and significantly lessen the impacts of her condition, making her travels much easier on her and our family.