Service dog brings hope for Kansas boy battling epilepsy - KCTV5

Service dog brings hope for Kansas boy battling epilepsy

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A fifth-grade boy should never have to endure what Weston Leach has most of his life. (Submitted) A fifth-grade boy should never have to endure what Weston Leach has most of his life. (Submitted)
Six started going to school with Weston this past year. He became part of the family and Wellsville Elementary. (Submitted) Six started going to school with Weston this past year. He became part of the family and Wellsville Elementary. (Submitted)
Six is trained to sense a seizure as long at 15 minutes before it happens.  The dog can smell a change in scent from Weston’s body. (Submitted) Six is trained to sense a seizure as long at 15 minutes before it happens.  The dog can smell a change in scent from Weston’s body. (Submitted)
WELLSVILLE, KS (KCTV) -

A fifth-grade boy should never have to endure what Weston Leach has most of his life. 

“It rips your heart out. it's gut wrenching,” Weston’s mom, Amber Leach, said.

The 11-year-old boy from Pomona, KS has epilepsy and suffers multiple seizures every day -- he has since he was three years old.

“He had his first seizure when he was three,” Weston’s mom said. “We thought he was choking. We'd never seen a seizure before. He was actually at a friend’s house and he was eating candy and we thought he was choking.”

The seizures became more frequent as Weston grew.

“Right now he has one maybe about one to two or three seizures in the morning ... Those are the ones that last anywhere from one to two minutes,” Amber Leach said.

Every night, Weston sleeps in his parents’ room so they can hear if a seizure begins and help comfort their boy through it.

The Leach family was struggling to figure out how to manage Weston’s illness without wearing down their family of five. Then, they came across an idea: a service dog trained to alert the family a seizure is coming.

The problem was, those animals are expensive. It would cost about $14,000 to get Six trained and in their home.  Through the help of their community and school, they fundraised enough to get Six. 

Life hasn’t been the same since.

Six is trained to sense a seizure as long at 15 minutes before it happens.  The dog can smell a change in scent from Weston’s body. 

When she does, Six starts licking Weston’s hand continuously.  That is the signal to Weston and his parents, prepare for a seizure.

“We watch for that so we can keep an eye on him, sit him on the couch, so he's in a safe place when he does happen,” Weston’s mom said.

Six started going to school with Weston this past year. He became part of the family and Wellsville Elementary.  That’s why you’ll see Six’s picture along with the rest of Weston’s fifth-grade class in the yearbook.

But Weston’s mother wants others to know, this is no joke.

“It's more than just a cute kid and a service dog in the yearbook. She's more than that. It's not just ‘Yeah Weston can take his dog to school. That's awesome.’ She's there for a reason,” Amber Leach said. “She serves a purpose.”


More info online: 4 Paws for Ability - Providing service dogs to children worldwide

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