Sinead's Service Dog!

Hey everyone! My name is Hailey. One of my best friends is Sinéad. Sinéad is 25 years old and was born with an extremely rare, progressive and life threatening condition called Parkes Weber Syndrome.

This condition effects the right side of her body, her vascular, skeletal, muscular and lymphatic systems and impacts her on a daily basis.

Some of the things she endures because of Parkes Weber Syndrome are:
-Constant, excruciating pain,  that can't be remidied despite many attempts, due to chronic open wounds on her foot(caused by an Arterial Venous Malformation) that will never heal, her malformed systems and the fact her right leg is not only longer, but twice the size of her left  leg and about 40 pounds itself, due to muscle and bone overgrowth. 

-inability to walk because of this pain or because her leg has gone into spasm (which can happen for no reason at all or because of something benign to most people like a common cold).  These episodes of spasticity can last hours to weeks.  

-very serious infections regularly that require IV antibiotics for two week rounds at a time. These infections have become more frequent as she has gotten older as this is a progressive condition.

-spontaneous bleeds from her leg and foot due to arterial venous malformations (AVMs). These bleeds often take a VERY long time to stop and she can very quickly lose a lot of blood. More often than not she ends up having to be rushed to hospital. These bleeds can happen for no reason at all or happen due to things like her foot being stepped on or barely hitting her leg or foot off of something (hard enough the average person may get a bruise).

-potentially life threatening blood clots from time to time such as deep vein clots and pulmonary embolisms. 

She is in the hospital quite frequently due to these factors and has been admitted over 30 times since 2010. These admissions can last weeks to months. It is quite difficult for Sinéad to be in hospital so much. Not only is it hard putting your life on hold no matter what stage of life you are in, but it is especially hard as a young person trying to go to school, work and basically start your life.

Being in hospital is also usually quite traumatic for Sinéad since her condition is so rare and no one really knows what to do with her.  This causes her to be more depressed and also causes her a great deal of anxiety. Some of the nurses and doctors do not treat her well(I have seen this first hand) and this makes her cry often. As much as her family and I would like, we can't be there daily for her during a hospital admission, but Paddington can. He would be able to stay with her the entire admission and she wouldn't have to stress or be upset about dealing with rude doctors/nurses alone.

Sinéad also has Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This impacts her day to day and I have seen her get worse since the last year. She is no longer able to go downtown alone, take transit alone or be in places where there are a lot of people. 

If Sinéad had a service dog, it would greatly improve her life. The dog would be able to alert to medical crisises,  retrieve things for her when she has a bleed, is in too much pain to walk or if she's in her wheelchair. He can also create a protective barrier between her and others when she is out in public. The dog would also provide her with balance assistance when she is able to walk (something she loves doing) and he will be able to help mitigate her symptoms when it comes to dealing with her anxiety. This would in turn allow her to get out more and lead the life she wants.

Unfortunately, while we have gotten Paddington, training costs $17,000. This is something Sinéad cannot easily afford. Her mother had cancer a few years ago and no longer works full time because of it. Her father is also retired. Sinéad is also unable to hold a job due to being in the hospital so frequently (she was hospitalized 3 times in Oct 2015 alone) so we are turning to the kindness of our friends, family and
strangers to help out with this extraordinary cost.

I love Sinéad very much and she holds a very special place in my heart. It would make me so happy to see her be able to do more things with the help of a service dog. I would deeply appreciate any help you can give, whether it be donating or sharing this page. Please do not feel like your donation is too small, every little bit helps. Even sharing this page can greatly help the cause. 

As Sinéad would say, thank you from the top of our kidneys, which are deeper than the bottom of our hearts.  Your kindness will never be forgotten!


Hailey Verge 
North York, ON

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