Monroe's Wish for a Seizure Alert Dog
Playgrounds are made for fun memories. For a Reno family, however, a day at the park changed their lives - dramatically. But a special dog could change it even more - for the better. How you can help grant Monroe’s wish in Health Watch.
"Three, two, one!” yells Dad as he launches his daughter on her favorite swing.
At four years old, Monroe has a big personality.
“Higher! I can almost touch the sky!” she giggles. She's energetic and outgoing.
"She wants to talk to everybody. She's curious about everything,” shares Gabe Szekely.
She also has no fear despite what she’s been through the last six months.
In November of 2017, Monroe’s mom vividly remembers play time at the park.
As Lacey was pushing her daughter on the swing, "I could slowly see her grip releasing. She fell off backwards and she hit her head and I immediately ran over to her, picked her up and she wasn't crying, she wasn't screaming, she was in the middle of a grand mal seizure."
Monroe was not responding, she started convulsing and even stopped breathing. Soon after calling 911, she came to.
Still, coming from two military pilots - who've deployed overseas – her parents say it was an incredibly scary moment.
"I'm just holding her and I was hysterical. I didn't know what was happening. As a parent it was traumatizing; it was really hard to watch."
Monroe agrees. “It was scary,” she recalls.
Her grand mal seizures appear to be under control now with medication, but she still experiences absent and myoclonic seizures.
"It's heart-breaking to watch the personality of your child disappear."
Her parents are hopeful an addition to their family will soon help. They are raising money for a seizure alert dog through Little Angels Service Dogs.
The dogs are trained to sense a chemical change in the body. Monroe's saliva - right after a seizure - will be sent in to train the pup with that specific scent. They not only signal for a child to sit down in a safe position before a seizure, they are also taught to help ease a fall.
Plus, as Monroe explains, "He tells my mom and dad if I have a seizure."
For her parents, that extra attention for their fierce and independent daughter - is priceless.
"They spend over 600 hours of training with these dogs. It's worth every penny."
Again, these dogs cost $28,000. Monroe’s family is collecting donations through www.redbasket.org which is a fee-free fundraising website. Online, it will tally up to $20,000, but Red Basket will continue to collect donations until Monroe gets every cent needed for her very own seizure alert dog.
Donations are tax-deductible at https://redbasket.org/1645/miracle-pup-for-monroe.
You can also make a donation on the Little Angels Service Dogs website and earmark it for Monroe's future dog. Click on http://www.littleangelsservicedogs.org/donate/ and use solicitation code PS-SZ-MO.