WELLSVILLE, Kan. — A 5-year-old boy in Wellsville, Kansas, south of Edgerton in Franklin County, needs your help.
After years of health issues and seizures, his family says it’s time to try something new.
FOX4’s Sherae Honeycutt sat down with his mother about what could be a life changing move.
“I couldn’t imagine life without him,” said Amy Beam.
Five years ago she gave birth to twins, Dylan and Derek.
Derek was perfectly healthy, but from the beginning, Amy knew it wouldn’t be easy for Dylan.
“It’s been a rollercoaster, but I think its also taught me to be very grateful for my children,” Beam said.
At five weeks old Dylan’s heart stopped.
“Dylan actually passed away in my arms and had to be resuscitated on the NICU floor,” Beam said.
He’s been through heart surgery, and later his parents learned about the cyst in his brain.
“His regulatory systems don’t work right. Sweating, hunger, sleep. Then we found out that the cyst was also causing epilepsy – what caused the seizures,” Beam said.
Seizures that happen every week, and make it impossible for Dylan to be alone.
“The dog will also provide him that safety net. It will alert us that he has to come inside, or that he needs to be cooled down or warmed up, because he’s not able to say, ‘mom, I’m too hot,’ or ‘mom, I’m too cold,” Beam said.
A seizure dog from SIT Service Dogs in Ava, Illinois.
Their program director, Lex Dietz, says these dogs are first responders.
“There’s a lot of these kids who have never slept in their own beds, ever, and they can do that because of these dogs. They maybe want to walk to the mailbox on their own, and it gives these kids a lot of autonomy, because these are things they can’t do without a dog,” Dietz said.
The problem is that they are expensive.
Beam says she’s about $8,000 dollars away from her $12,000 dollar goal.
“It’s hard to understand why a dog should cost that much, but at the same time, that much training and that much time put into an animal is incredible,” Beam said.
“They see this life changing tool that could help their child in life changing, almost ways that they’d never let themselves dream. Unfortunately, insurance companies, even though service dogs have been a thing since the late seventies still deem them as something experimental,” Dietz said.
Beam says she will keep dreaming of the day her little boy can just be a little boy.
“I just don’t know how to explain the freedom that it would give a little boy, and the fact that it could be very well what saves his life,” Beam said.
The dog would be able to do much more than get help. It would also be able to break the boy’s fall during a seizure, pull him out of water if he falls, and roll him onto his side until help can arrive.
If you would like to help this family they are accepting donations through their GoFundMe page.