Heather Kurlinski wrote -
Four year old Ollie has epilepsy. He had his first seizure on August 23, 2010, as he was opening presents at his fourth birthday party. He suddenly collapsed and was rushed to the hospital by ambulance where he spent the week hooked up to monitors and machines, instead of playing with his new toys. After numerous tests, Ollie was diagnosed with epilepsy, a brain disorder that causes recurring seizures, violent muscle spasms and loss of consciousness.
Olllie’s family is learning to adapt to his illness. The challenge is that he has different kinds of seizures, some big and some small. Some are so subtle that it is difficult for even a trained observer to recognize. During these seizures, Oliver loses consciousness and is unable to move or speak but may only appear to be daydreaming. This means that every day activities such as climbing, going down a slide, bathing, swimming or even eating can become dangerous as a seizure can cause him to fall, become immobilized in water, or choke on food.
While there is no cure for epilepsy, there is help for Oliver who has been selected to receive a seizure-assistance dog by a nonprofit organization, 4 Paws for Ability. This dog will dramatically improve Oliver's life by restoring his autonomy.
That's why we are urgently raising money for a seizure assistance dog for Ollie. This dog will enable Ollie to live his life fully and independently because the dog will alert a caregiver when Ollie has a seizure. No active 4 year old child likes to have a parent hovering over him or her all the time and Ollie is no different! He is anxious for the freedom this dog will give him, and his parents are anxious for the peace of mind it will give to them.
These amazing dogs are specially-trained to assist during and following a seizure. Oliver's dog will:
- Alert his parents when he's having a seizure;
- Roll Oliver onto his side during a seizure, so he doesn't choke;
- Block Oliver from walking into dangerous situations (traffic) during a seizure;
- Track Oliver so he can receive life-saving treatment immediately;
Provide him with a comforting & safe presence immediately following a seizure.
These dogs are not only companions, they are lifesavers and caregivers. They are not your average dog: they are rock stars. And like any rock star, they don’t come cheap. It costs 4 Paws for Ability (a 501 c3 nonprofit) $22,000 to procure and train a seizure assistance dog. To cover that staggering cost and to enable them to help as many people as possible, they ask each recipient family to raise $13,000.
Please join us in supporting Ollie by making a tax-deductible donation in Oliver Kurlinski's name to 4 Paws for Ability. The sooner we can raise the money, the sooner his life will be transformed. Thank you!!
**PS-Pictured is Ollie's drawing of himself during a seizure with his seizure dog. If you look closely, you can see he made 3 attempts to get the dog ears just right. The scribble in the upper half of the page is him "during a seizure with his brain all crazy." The dog is in the lower right corner.