Seizure alert dog cares for Kingston girl

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

(WVLT) You've heard about guide dogs for the deaf and the blind, but what about a seizure-alert dog?

The springer-spaniel is a life-saver for a six year old Kingston girl.

Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford shows us how.

Six year old Gracey Estes was born with Cerebral Palsey and epilepsy.

Lori Estes says, "her seizures are not a pleasant thing and each time she has one, she has a risk of having another one that's worse than the one before."

Gracey's mother Lori had to be by her side 24-7.

Estes continues, "for five years, this child was in my bedroom with me and my husband cause we has to keep a watch on her."

But not anymore, Lori found Cha Cha from a rescue group in Kentucky a year ago.

Not only is he Gracey's best friend, he's a trained seizure-alert dog.

"Cha Cha lays at the foot of her bed and he'll alert us by barking or coming and getting us if she's having a seizure, so we can go and take care of her."

Cha Cha can also detect Gracey's seizures before they start.

Estes says, "we can't tell like a dog. They sense it in their smell. They think that it's their smell or their body change in the child."

Cha Cha never leaves Gracey's side, and because of him, she's able to attend Kindergarten here at Kingston Elementary every day.

"For her to be with regular children in a regular classroom and just experience it all just like any other kid, it's just a wonderful thing."

Gracey's attendant, Charlotte Wilson, says having Cha Cha has cut down on her seizures tremendously, she's only had one in school this year, and Cha Cha brought it to her attention.

Wilson says, "we were sitting and he got up and he came to me and went to her and I was able to take her out of the gym, pick her up, comfort her."

Besides catching her seizures, Cha Cha has helped Gracey come out of her shell.

Estes says, "she's more comfortable. She's more social. I think it's a sense of, it calms her down."

Gracey's teacher, Miss Beth, tells us Cha Cha is never a distraction in class.

She says the students know he's there to work when he has his back-pack on.

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