Hazel is an energetic, bright and loving 7-year-old girl in need of a service dog to keep her safe outside of the home and to support her emotional and developmental recovery from epilepsy surgery. Diagnosed with a catastrophic form of epilepsy called Infantile Spasms at age 1, Hazel and her family spent a year trying medications and a special diet to treat her increasingly dangerous and frequent seizures – up to 20 per day. At age 2, she underwent brain surgery to remove two lobes on the right side of her brain which has resulted, thankfully, in nearly complete seizure freedom.
Hazel’s journey hasn’t ended there. She suffers from global developmental delay, sensory processing disorder, speech delay, perseveration, and critically, impulsivity that puts her personal safety at risk when outside of the house.
Hazel is loving and affectionate, and she loves her older siblings best. They love and care for her, but “normal” family outings are a severe stressor on the family, frequently forcing changes in plans and limiting activities. Hazel is prone to emotional outbursts when transitioning environments, frequently in public places. These behavioral issues cause her family to need to have patience and stop everything to care for her safety. A service dog would work for Hazel to assist in calming her and providing her sensory input.
Hazel can be impulsive and run away when in public. A service dog could assist her family in keeping her safe by utilizing her service dog to help stabilize her and give her purpose when