Hi there! Thanks for stopping by our dream page! We are the Stell family from Southeast Missouri. We have three loving daughters and a sweet son, Bo. What are we dreaming of? A seizure assistance dog for Bo.
Bo began having long, unexplained seizures at 8.5 months old. He continued to have seizures every two weeks, almost on a schedule. Because daily anti-epileptic medications and rescue medications were not working to prevent or stop the seizures, the neurologists at Cardinal Glennon hospital in St. Louis, Missouri decided to run some genetic tests. These test results revealed three rare genes, SCN1A, KCNJ10, and DYRK1A. While little is known about the KCNJ10 and DYRK1A genes, all three genes are found in people who have epilepsy, developmental, and intellectual delays. Because of Bo’s SCN1A gene, his neurologists have diagnosed him with Dravet Syndrome.
The Dravet website explains Dravet Syndrome as “lifelong, catastrophic, epilepsy”. Medications don’t work well to prevent seizures in most people with Dravet, and it is hard for doctors and parents to decide which medications to try, as they don’t work the same for some people with Dravet as others.
So, how would a seizure assistance dog help Bo? A Seizure Assistance Dog would help Bo in several areas:
- First of all, it would give him some independence in his own home! Bo is never left alone for more than 2-3 minutes at a time. Bo has to sleep with us, his parents, Robert and Kristi, so we can feel when he starts shaking from a seizure. A seizure assistance dog would allow Bo to sleep in his own bed, because the dog would be able to alert us when Bo is having a seizure. A dog would allow Bo to play in his own room upstairs, it would allow him to move more freely throughout our house, instead of needing to stay in the same room as us.
- Because heat is a seizure trigger for Bo, he will likely not be able to go outside for recess, during the warmer months (a majority of the school year here), once he starts school. His dog, his future best friend, will be a companion for him during these times when Bo can’t participate.
- Behavior Disruption (the dog will follow commands: Lap, Nuzzle, Deep Pressure, and Kisses) for anxiety and to calm Bo during times of meltdowns and sensory overload. A seizure assistance dog would also be comforting to him after seizures and during stressful medical tests.
- A dog will be trained to scent track Bo in the event he bolts or wanders as a result of his condition.
- Offer comfort and companionship while helping with social interactions, creating a bridge between Bo and his peers.
Will you help us invest in Bo’s future? Having a service dog will completely change his quality of life. If you can help us, please visit https://www.razoo.com/story/
Thank you so much for your time in reading this and your consideration of Bo’s needs. We invite you to find Bo’s group on Facebook to stay updated with our journey: Bo Strong! – Dravet Warrior.