Koa is of Hawaiian origin and the meaning is brave, bold, fearless.
And has he ever lived up to his name!
Koa was diagnosed with severe, non-verbal autism at age three. Just a few short years later life threw us another curve-ball and he was diagnosed with epilepsy. Koa is eleven years old now and has had over forty E.R. admissions and several emergency medevacs to specialized hospitals.
The silver lining? Koa is still smiling, has a giving heart and open arms to embrace all that life has to offer him.
This blog is a fundraising site and to share our journey in acquiring a life-saving service dog for Koa. Join us on our journey of hope!
Service Dogs Save Lives!
After several trial and error attempts to alert us to Koa’s sudden seizures and prevent dangerous and life-threatening situations, we ran out of options and this mama started to lose hope! It was during a week long stay at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, that I discovered the amazing abilities of service dogs and was introduced to a privately owned company called Arizona Goldens. From there I pursued them to know all I possibly could about what service dogs were all about, but mainly, what they could do for my Koa.
Service Dogs have the ability to alert before we realize a seizure is occurring. In almost all cases dogs are reacting to signs of a seizure before we can recognize the signs. This is huge for us! It could mean the difference between life and death. They also alert the proper person, and/or trigger a seizure alert device to notify emergency medical personnel. Other seizure clients of Arizona Goldens have amazing testimony to this. Click here to read more!
These dogs also prevent dangerous behaviors that people with autism tend to have, like wandering, bolting, and climbing up on things, like *ahem* cabinets. (Koa does this or at least tries to EVERY day!) Imagine if he had a seizure while doing any of the above! Koa has wandered to the neighbors house, and being non-verbal was unable to explain what was going on, luckily, they knew him. His dog would be with him at all times as an alerter and protector. Autism Service Dogs of Arizona Goldens are trained in a variety of ways and impact the lives of the children and adults they serve in wonderful ways! Click here for more stories and a list of ways they train their dogs. It will touch your heart!