Schoolgirl’s life changing bond with pet dog Elmo
Millie Webb, nine, from Cheshire, has refractory epilepsy which unfortunately means medication can struggle to control her seizures.
Heightened emotions - including happiness - can trigger a seizure, of which she has around 50 each day, reports the Daily Mail
She has now forged a potentially life-saving bond with one-year-old pet dog Elmo who has appeared to predict the onset of a seizure before it happens.
Father-of-five Stuart Webb, 45, said:
Having lots of fun, such as having a fantastic time playing with her friends at a party, and laughing can trigger a seizure. When she was younger it was easier as she didn't want to be out and about but now she wants to play out in the streets with her friends and live life to the full. Sometimes we just want her to sit and watch TV but she loves the outdoors and wants to be outside with her friends on her bike and her roller skates.
When Millie was in a paddling pool this summer and had a seizure, Elmo ran to the rescue and dragged her out. When she has a convulsive seizure, it draws the dog’s attention. She rushes over to lick her face in a bid to stimulate her and bring her round. In June, when Millie was asleep on the sofa, Elmo suddenly climbed up and began to lick her face. Mum, Linda, tried to shoo her off but the next they knew she had a seizure.
Her family is now looking to harness Elmo’s talents by finding a trainer who can transform her into a fully-fledged seizure assistance dog. They have been advised to contact their local training centre but have yet to have any luck.
Mrs Webb said:
Elmo doesn't need to be trained in how to pick up on seizures, she already has that, she just needs the proper training to alert us. If Elmo was trained she [Elmo] could go anywhere with her [Millie] and be even more of a reassuring presence. We think Elmo's got the gift to help Millie - we just need someone with the experience to teach her.