We are grandparents raising an amazing four year old little man. The three of us, Diane, Randy and little Riley are on a new journey that started when he was born almost eight weeks premature at St. Luke’s Hospital in Boise, Idaho. He had many issues challenging him at birth, but the most prominent one was a narrowing in his Aortic valve to his heart. Riley and Oma (Grandma) were flown to Spokane, Washington when he was eight days old with heart surgery following short after. All went well and we were flown back home to Boise a couple of weeks later. He still has some issues with his heart, the most concerning is the mitral valve stenosis which will eventually need surgery. The good news is that he has a great team of doctors that are always wanting to do what is best for Riley.
Riley spent over two months in the NICU in Boise and then was released to come home with us to McCall, Idaho. Many home visits from nurses allowed us to stay home in his fragile condition so he could grow and thrive under our loving care. Riley acted like any typical child, he just took heart medication.
Riley started having seizures when he was one year old. At first we were told that he may grow out of these even though more than once the seizures went on and on for hours. Then after some extensive genetic testing at age three we found out that Riley has Dravet Syndrome Epilepsy. This form of Epilepsy will be with him for the rest of his life and has life changing attributes that affect his development physically, emotionally and mentally.
We started researching for a Seizure Assist Dog and came across 4 Paws for Ability and have been accepted as a client. We are so very excited and thankful for this opportunity to help set Riley up for success with a service dog. Riley’s service dog will hopefully detect an oncoming seizure and alert Riley and us when one occurs as well as help with outbursts, self-injurious behavior, and social interaction. Furthermore, the dog will help Riley grow to be more independent over time by easing transitions, helping keep him safe, and providing a faithful companion. Riley loves dogs and will be overjoyed to have a companion by his side to help him.
The cost of a trained service dog is between $40,000 to $60,000 and 4 Paws for Ability asks their clients to provide $17,000. The benefit Riley will receive from a service dog is truly priceless.
Riley loves riding his bike, playing outside and reading his books. His favorite is Cat in the Hat. He counts his Legos as he plays with them and is always letting you know what letters are in the words he sees every day.
How can you help Riley receive his Seizure Assist Service Dog?
Donations to help children such as Riley can be made to 4 Paws for Ability online at www.4pawsforability.org/donate-now If you desire to help Riley directly please include Riley’s name in the “instructions to merchant” through PayPal. You may also call to make a credit card donation over the phone at (937)374-0385 Monday through Friday 9am to 4pm EST.
Finally, you can mail a check (include Riley’s name on the memo line) to:
4 Paws for Ability
In Honor of Riley Peterson
253 Dayton Ave.
Xenia, OH 45385
We want to thank you for taking time to learn about Riley and to learn about wonderful organizations such as 4 Paws for Ability who seek to enrich our children’s lives, and for considering make a donation in Riley’s honor. Your support means the world to him and us.