A ser­vice dog helps more than you know

The Covington News - - OPINION - Sa­van­nah Martin So­cial Cir­cle

To the ed­i­tor,

Life since 2012 has been quite the ad­ven­ture, with many highs and lows. Be­ing di­ag­nosed with a rare ge­netic dis­or­der, Hy­pokalemic Pe­ri­odic Paral­y­sis, on top of it all has been tough and has brought along some chal­lenges. On Aug. 4 of 2012, I passed out in front of my mom fully par­a­lyzed and was rushed to New­ton where I was shortly sent straight to Egle­ston’s ER and then IC where I was a pa­tient for ap­prox­i­mately three months. It was dur­ing these three months that I was on and off a ven­ti­la­tor and hav­ing nu­mer­ous at­tacks, be­ing far from sta­ble. While those months were the most in­tense and hor­ri­fy­ing of the past sev­eral years, they are by no means the only time it has oc­curred.

Since those months, I have prac­ti­cally lived in the hos­pi­tal scene to the point that at some hos­pi­tals the nurses just au­to­mat­i­cally knew my name, my con­di­tion, and who my fam­ily is, be­fore he or she would even come into the room to meet me and the be­gin­ning of his/ her shift.

Al­though it was a dif­fi­cult jour­ney to achieve, May of 2015, I grad­u­ated from So­cial Cir­cle High School and went off to Au­gust to at­tend Ge­or­gia Re­gents Uni­ver­sity (now Au­gust State) but was only there for a se­mes­ter due to my health. Af­ter GRU, I trans­ferred back to Ge­or­gia Perime­ter and stayed there through its change to Ge­or­gia State and re­ceived my as­so­ci­ates’ de­gree. Now I am “Be­tween the Hedges” and am lov­ing ev­ery sec­ond of it!

Hy­pokalemic Pe­ri­odic Paral­y­sis is a rare ge­netic neu­ro­log­i­cal dis­or­der that af­fects all or por­tions of my mus­cu­lar and ner­vous sys­tems when at­tacks flare up. These are at­tacks, for me, are caused due to my blood pres­sure drop­ping due to a con­di­tion called P.O.T.S., which in turn trig­gers my potas­sium to drop. When my potas­sium drops, all or por­tions of my body be­come par­a­lyzed.

With this at hand, over the past year and half we have been rais­ing money to­ward get­ting me a ser­vice dog. The ser­vice dog will be trained to aid me dur­ing at­tacks but will also be able to pick up on warn­ing signs prior to an at­tack ac­tu­ally oc­curs. On June 26 we were able to adopt a labradoo­dle puppy, who is now four months old. Since bring­ing home Padme, she has com­pleted her first puppy course, and will be start­ing with her Begin­ner Obe­di­ence course shortly. When Padme reaches the 18 months to 24 months of age, she will be­gin her ser­vice dog train­ing; how­ever, mean­while she will be con­tin­u­ously be at­tend­ing var­i­ous obe­di­ence cour­ses as well as agility cour­ses: begin­ner, in­ter­me­di­ate and ad­vanced.

We are still and will still con­tin­u­ously be rais­ing money to­ward all of her train­ing. Our goal is to raise ap­prox­i­mately $15,000. If you are in­ter­ested in do­nated money to­ward Padme’s train­ing feel free to do so through the fol­low­ing Go­FundMe link: go­fundme. com/savysser­vice­dog.

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