The small town of Decatur, Texas, has rallied together to raise $50,000 for the police chief’s daughter who is suffering from epilepsy and requires a seizure response dog.
Delvon Campbell, who has dedicated over 20 years to the Decatur Police Department, shares a deep connection with his wife Ashley and their three children – 15-year-old Addison, and nine-year-old twins Kynadee and Ryleigh.
Kynadee, born prematurely at just 28 weeks and weighing a mere 1.4 pounds, has faced numerous medical challenges throughout her life, including Cerebral palsy and epilepsy.
A recent spate of seizures, some of which cause her to stop breathing, prompted Delvon to seek additional help.
While medication effectively managed Kynadee’s seizures for a while, they have become more frequent and unresponsive to treatment.
During Labor Day weekend, Kynadee was admitted to Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas after enduring an astronautical 25 seizures.
The situation intensified as she started aspirating and had to be placed on a ventilator for 15 days. The seizures persisted relentlessly despite the hospital’s desperate attempts to halt them.
Ashley admits to the fear and uncertainty that gripped their lives, with multiple near misses that almost claimed Kynadee’s young life.
Following her month-long hospital stay, Kynadee’s seizures remain severe, casting a shadow of anxiety over her twin sister Ryleigh, who remains terrified that her sister will have one at night.
How Kynadee’s condition could improve with a seizure response dog
Based on the opinion of her neurologist, obtaining a seizure response dog has emerged as a potential solution.
These specially trained dogs can provide crucial support during or after a seizure. However, the cost of such a dog ranges from $30,000 to $60,000, adding financial strain to the family who is faced with accumulating medical bills.
To alleviate this burden, the Decatur community launched a GoFundMe campaign hoping to raise $50,000 for a seizure dog and Kynadee’s ongoing treatment.
Remarkably, the campaign has already surpassed $41,000, a testament to the warmth and benevolence exhibited by the people of Decatur.
The police chief is in “shock and awe” over the response by the community he has served for more than two decades. While his wife is moved by the countless messages of support and prayers that have flooded in from strangers.
The career cop noted that “it’s not the first time” the community stepped up to Kynadee throughout her young, painful life.
“This is what makes Decatur Decatur in my opinion, the way people go out of their way to help one another,” Chief Campbell commented. “You hear other people talk about their communities that do these things, but Decatur is just different.”
At publishing, Kynadee’s GoFundMe page has raised raised more than $42,000 of a $50,000 goal.
“It just makes you think if we could all be like that, how much better our world would be, if we all did that every single day. You couldn’t ask for a better place than [Decatur].”
What’s a seizure response dog?
Seizure response dogs can be trained to assist individuals with seizures, just as they can be trained for other disabilities. These dogs undergo specific training to carry out certain behaviors during or after a seizure.
For instance, they can bark to alert family members or activate a call system and learn to provide comfort and protection by lying next to the person experiencing a seizure.
In outdoor or separate room scenarios, seizure response dogs are trained to alert families when a child like Kynadee is having a seizure.
They can also prevent injury by positioning themselves next to the person having a seizure or by breaking their fall. Some seizure response dogs are even trained to activate pre-programmed devices like alarm-ringing pedals.
How much does it cost to train a seizure alert dog?
Training a seizure alert dog can be a costly and time-consuming process. It may require up to $40,000 and take two years (24 months) of dedicated training.
Different dog training organizations have their own application processes, some of which might have waiting periods lasting up to 18 months.
These organizations specialize in training seizure alert dogs and understand the unique needs and goals of the handlers, as well as any specific family requirements. While insurance often does not cover the cost of a seizure alert dog, there are non-profit organizations that offer training programs for individuals who are unable to afford the expenses.
Alternatively, for those who can pay out of pocket, various for-profit businesses in the United States provide training services tailored to the needs of families requiring seizure alert dogs.