Avery's 'Hope' with her Service Dog
Organized by: Lauren Hope
June 18, 2016
Avery Girl is 3.5 years old and an absolute miracle. She was our 5th baby and we were told we were having a completely healthy little girl. It became very clear after she was born that something was not right. She was lifeless. She was blue. She was pretty much a shell that appeared to be empty on the inside. Avery has a rare genetic disease called Prader-Willi Syndrome. It is a spontaneous occurrence that could happen to literally anyone. We spent her first year being air ambulanced around the country - literally fighting for our sweet girls life. Too many times we were told she wouldn't make it. Too many times doctors gave no hope. Too many times we were told we were fighting a losing battle. Praise God the battle isn't ours to fight alone!
Avery Girl has 23 specialists that we travel the country to see and an even longer list of medical diagnoses. While she has PWS, she also has many "Avery Specials" as we like to call them. Our sweet girl is medically fragile but physically INCREDIBLE. She fights for everything and nothing comes easy ... yet she smiles and laughs as though she's never faced a trial in her life. Avery is considered Immunocompromised and has Chronic Lung Disease resulting in a need for supplemental O2 24/7. She's hypoglycemic and adrenal insufficient. She's g-tube dependent for all liquids and medications - meaning that she gets over 30 medications and all 'drinks' in her G-tube. A has so much going on medically that she requires skilled nursing care in our home. The only time she's cleared to leave our house are for her doctors and specialists appointments. She gets school 5 days a week and 10 therapies a week in our home.
We've been praying for a therapy dog for our girl for over 2 years now. The Lord answered in way we weren't expecting (Praise God that He has the PERFECT plan!) with a 6 week old German Shepherd puppy. We have already begun working with a very qualified trainer who we know will be able to train Jersey to Avery's exact needs. Jersey has a big job in this life ... ultimately she'll be responsible for waking Avery when she stops breathing (due to her Obstructive and Central apnea), alerting us when her blood sugars drop to dangerous levels, alerting when her cortisol levels drop, alerting when her temperature gets too high or too low, calming Avery when her anxiety becomes too much or her frustrations get too overwhelming (due to her lack of speech and communication), alerting us when she tries to elope or get food that isn't allowed, and so much more. Jersey is going to mean LIFE for our Avery Girl and we are SO EXCITED to see what they accomplish together.
All that being said, training is very, very expensive . Realistically we're looking at Jersey needing around 1,000 hours of actual training and then all the testing she has to pass in order to become certified. Not only do we have to pay for her training but we have to upgrade our vehicle. We currently have an EL Expedition that fits the 7 of us. Jersey is estimated to be over 100lbs and with all of Avery's equipment, meds, and nurses ... we've completely run out of room. We are looking to upgrade to a conversion van that will be able to accomodate our family and all of A's necessary medical 'equipment'. Jersey will be traveling everywhere with Avery - she'll be with her 24/7 - so this is an absolute must for us.
While the $30,000 goal definitely will not cover all training and an Avery-Safe vehicle, it'll help get us closer to being able to afford these needs. Avery's trainer is paid solely in cash and we're looking to have her fully trained within a maximum of 18 months.
I've never ... in my entire life ... asked for financial help like this. I know everyone has their own struggles and financial needs so this is extremely difficult for me to do. If you can't help, THAT'S OKAY! You CAN help by PRAYING for us and by sharing this with folks who do have the ability and desire. We KNOW the Lord has given us Jersey and not once has He left us to fend for ourselves. We KNOW He will provide and answer mightily! Thank you in advance for being such a blessing to my family!!