Service dog for Olivia Gilbert

A month before graduating from the University of Connecticut, my sister Olivia Gilbert, aged 22, was struck and run over by a 44,000-pound oil truck. Olivia was rushed to Hartford Hospital, where she stayed for one week to undergo two emergency surgeries following a degloving injury on her right leg. This injury called for the removal of tissue right down to her muscle. After her two initial surgeries, Olivia was transferred to Bridgeport Hospital Burn Unit where she stayed for three weeks. Using healthy skin from her left leg, Olivia underwent 6 reconstructive skin grafting surgeries to repair the damage done to her right leg. This horrible accident caused Olivia to miss the last month of her senior year of school.

Olivia has a long road to recovery ahead of her and is unable to be exposed to sunlight for a year without proper UVB/UPF protective clothing covering her newly developing skin. In the future, about 12-18 months from now, Olivia will have to endure more reconstructive surgeries to reshape her right leg and refill it with fat tissues lost during the accident; until then, her skin is in an extremely fragile state. 

From this traumatic accident, Olivia is also suffering from severe PTSD. This is causing many problems including flashbacks, nightmares, anxiety, depression, hair loss and insomnia. Olivia is now in need of a service dog to help her heal and cope with her PTSD. Service dogs are trained to recognize the signs of a flashback, anxiety attack or nightmare and interrupt and redirect their handler to break the cycle and help them gain emotional control. 

Olivia is very strong and we know she will overcome this awful accident. With the help of a service dog Olivia will be able to regain control of her life and continue on her road to recovery. Any contributions will be greatly appreciated. 
  • Nicole Sidwell 
    • $150 
    • 51 mos
  • Norma Cole 
    • $200 
    • 51 mos
  • Ronni Zoback 
    • $25 
    • 51 mos
  • Amalia Attardo 
    • $30 
    • 51 mos
  • Eileen Washburn 
    • $15 
    • 51 mos
See all

Fundraising team: Fundraising team (4)

Rebecca Gilbert 
Wethersfield, CT
Elaine Gilbert 
Olivia Gilbert 
Team member

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