Heather Kurlinski wrote -Imagine opening your eyes and you don’t know who or where you are. You are surrounded by people whom you don’t know. Your body doesn’t work right and as you struggle to sit up, you find that you are so tired it’s difficult to hold up your head. Suddenly, everything you’ve counted on your whole life—your senses, your identity, your mind—has abandoned you.
That’s what waking up after a seizure is like for four-year-old Oliver Kurlinski. On August 23, 2010, as he was opening presents at his fourth birthday party, Oliver suddenly turned white and collapsed. He was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance and spent the week hooked up to monitors and machines instead of playing with his new toys. After numerous tests, Oliver was diagnosed with epilepsy, a brain disorder that causes recurring seizures, violent muscle spasms and loss of consciousness.
Oliver’s family is learning to adapt to his illness. The challenge is that Oliver 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.
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 during a seizure;
• Track Oliver so he can receive life-saving treatment immediately;
• Provide him with a comforting, safe, secure and non-threatening 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 make a tax-deductible donation in Oliver Kurlinski's name to 4 Paws for Ability, so he can receive his dog and regain his independence.
The sooner we can raise the money, the sooner Oliver’s life will be transformed.