Peyton and her sister were born 10 weeks early, and they had a lot of health issues. Peyton was born weighing in at 1lb6oz. She was born with multiple eye conditions including: Glaucoma, Peters Anomally, Micro-opthalmia and Blindness. She also had Enlarged Ventricles in the Brain, VSD (hole in heart) and a non-functioning kidney. This feisty little girl had a very long uphill battle to survive. She spent 3 months in the NICU in Toronto.
When she was able to come home it was a huge relief to the family. However, the struggle was not over. They had weekly trips to Sick Kids and countless trips to Pediatricians, Physio, CNIB and Early Intervention Specialists.
Peyton has since had too many eye surgeries to count, kidney removed due to sepsis, recurrent UTI’s that hospitalize her, and many other hospital admissions yearly due to health issues. This poor girl has been thru the ringer, and yet her and her family have managed to keep persevering. These issues have not dampened Peyton’s spirit and she is determined to beat the odds!
Her and her family could really use some help right now. What some of you may not know is that Peyton has been very ill for the last six months. She was hospitalized in September and again in October for some very concerning symptoms that gave her family quite a scare. She was lifeless and lethargic, falling asleep at family dinners and not being able to be woken up. Sleeping for 22 hours a day without being able to arouse. Very confused and wobbly on her feet. Finally, on her week-long admission to Sick Kids in October 2017 she was diagnosed with Epilepsy and a UTI. Again, another blow medically to this already medically fragile little girl.
Peyton’s Epilepsy manifests at this point in Absence seizures. This is a seizure that consists of starring episodes, shaking, wobbliness, confusion, slowing of gross motor function. Which you could imagine how difficult this would be with Peyton’s eye conditions. It is physically impossible to tell through her eyes if she is actively seizing. Moreover, Peyton’s Epilepsy is a little different as she has seizures on BOTH sides of her brain (very rare), these seizures can cause brain damage as well. This would be incredibly devastating for this very bright girl.
Peyton has seizures on a daily basis, these seizures come with confusion, dizziness, loss of balance, panic, incontinence, embarrassment. As you can imagine this can be quite taxing on poor Peyton and her family. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to be a little kid having a scary seizure and not knowing where you are in “space”. Peyton’s world is already dark, and can be very overstimulating because she has no vision, and now add in the new diagnosis of Epilepsy. She has panic attacks worrying that she’s going to have a seizure. She already suffers from sleep issues due to her lack of vision (not being able to see when its daytime or nighttime) now add the Epilepsy in and it wreaks even more havoc on her life. Nights are very difficult as she often wakes up either feeling panicked with a strange sensation or having a seizure. Needless to say, if she is not sleeping; mom and dad are not sleeping and this is really starting to takes its toll on all of them.
It has been recommended by Peyton’s specialist that the family get her a service dog. This service dog would carry Peyton’s emergency seizure medication and would steady her in the event of a seizure. The dog will also provide comfort to Peyton post-seizure as well. By having the service dog; it will allow Peyton to be more independent (no one hovering over her) and feel more secure. It will also to provide emotional support and keep her safe in overstimulating environments such as school, hospitals, malls, amusement parks and so on. It will also give her family the peace of mind knowing her dog will alert them in the night if she is having a seizure. This will allow Peyton to get back to her care-free, free-spirited life
Service dogs are not easy to come by. Yes, there are foundations, however the wait times are more than 2yrs, and it is essential for Peyton to have a dog as soon as possible. There is a company called Canine Support Services who have trainers who can tailor a dogs training to Peyton’s very specialized needs. However, this service is very costly. If the family finds a suitable dog it would cost $5500, and this price goes up if the trainer is required to find the dog. In addition, there will be the cost of travelling to Toronto in order to complete the extensive training once a week for months. The estimated cost for needed funds is $8000.00-$10,000.
This family has been thru so much already and been taxed financially for the past 7yrs with the girls’ medical needs and their specialized educational equipment that they need due to their vision loss. It would mean so much to be able to help relieve the cost of this very necessary need for Peyton and her family.