Diabetic Alert Dog Could Be Guardian Angel For Green Country 3 Year Old
TULSA, Oklahoma - They say a dog is man's best friend, but for a Green Country toddler, a dog could be a guardian angel. One animal could mean the difference between life and death for one little girl.
There's a little bag that goes everywhere with Adyson Riner. It has all the medical tools she needs to keep her condition in check.
A specially trained dog wouldn't mean leaving the bag at home; instead, it would be to give her parents early warning of an attack.
Playtime is Adyson's favorite part of the day. Just like most other 3 year olds, she loves the park, but there's something that sets Adyson apart from other kids her age; she's a Type 1 Diabetic.
“She's living on insulin; insulin is what's keeping her alive,” said Jessica Sutton, Adyson's mom. “The worst thing for a parent is to see your child going through something and not being able to fix it for them.”
Adyson's mom has to test her daughter's blood sugar at least every two hours day and night; and with every test, there's a needle.
A normal level is about 170, but Adyson's blood sugar, no matter how strict her diet, can change 100 points in half an hour.
“This morning she went to bed and her blood sugar was great, we woke up and her blood sugar was 356, which is very dangerous, and before it got that high a dog would have alerted us,” Sutton said.
Adyson's mom prays she'll be able to buy her daughter a diabetic alert dog soon. He, or she, would be trained on Adyson's scent. Its nose would be able to detect chemical changes in her body half an hour before any technology could.
“The dog will tell us if her blood sugar is high or is low. And we're not going to rely completely on the dog, of course, but he will come wake us up in the middle of the night,” Sutton said.
Sutton said the family has watched one of the trained dogs in action at Heartland Diabetic Alert Dogs in Enid where they hope to buy their alert dog soon, but before Adyson's new companion can come home, the family has to come up with $13,000 out of pocket because insurance won't cover the costs.
It's a high price, but there's no price too high when it comes to Adyson's health.
“It'll literally save her life, probably every day,” Adyson's mother said.
Through an online donation site, Adyson's family has already raised almost enough money to put down a deposit on the specially trained dog.
“It's just amazing. Most of the people that have donated don't even know her,” Adyson's mom said, holding back tears. “I'm having her write thank you notes to everyone.”
They still have a long way to go, more than $10,000. You can keep up with Adyson and her journey on Facebook.