ROCHELLE (WIFR) – A new seizure dog could save a local girl’s life who has been diagnosed with one of the rarest cases of epilepsy.
Georgean and Patrick Hillyer say four months after their daughter Aaliyah was born, their lives changed forever. Aaliyah was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of epilepsy, one of just three cases in the world.
At 9 years old, Aaliyah is re-learning to walk and talk after a seizure that lasted more than an hour in 2011.
“That was really hard too, because when they put her in the drug induced coma and she woke up, she was paralyzed on her opposite side, knowing that we had to start all over again, it was really heartbreaking,” Aaliyah’s mom said.
Now her parents have to watch her every move.
“She can have just about any of the seizure symptoms so it can be hard to detect,” says Aaliyah’s father, Patrick.
Her dad says a trained seizure alert dog through Four Paws for Ability could help save his daughter’s life.
“Having the dog would be like having another person. Instead of one of us being with her all the time, we can have the dog stay with her, which she loves dogs so that’s an added plus,” Patrick said.
The Hillyers say they have to raise about $13,000 for Aaliyah’s dog which could take a while. Georgean says it’s worth it to give her little girl a new friend and freedom.
Aaliyah doesn’t have the dog yet. Her parents say once they raise the money they’ll have to train with the dog for two weeks.
Aaliyah has also been granted a wish through the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The family is taking Aaliyah to Disney World for Christmas.