Sunday, 26 September 2021
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Anonymous donor gives Chattanooga girl a service dog

10 year old Kieren lays in the grass with her new service dog Annie (Image: WTVC)

An anonymous donor paid thousands of dollars to give a young Chattanooga girl a life-changing resource.

We first introduced you to Kieren Sprague last year when her mom showed us how epilepsy can take its toll on the 10 year old.

At the time, Kieren’s mother Mary Nelle Sprague said a service dog would help their situation tremendously.

Annie the black lab is still in training to become Kieren’s service dog.

Up until recently, Mary Nelle Sprague says her daughter was having 20 seizures a night.

“It’s very hard to get any rest as you can imagine,” Sprague said.

A few weeks ago, years worth of prayers were answered.

Kieren had brain surgery to reduce the number and severity of her seizures.

“We have probably an 80-90 percent reduction in her seizure activity so it has helped dramatically,” Sprague said.

On the day of Kieren’s surgery, Mary got a call.

It was Melissa Walthour – the owner of Savage River Kennels.

“It was just kind of one of those God things I guess you would say,” Walthour said.

Within hours of posting the new puppy’s picture on Facebook, she started getting phone calls about Kieren.

“The day Kieren was having her brain surgery the entire purchase of the puppy was paid for anonymously,” she said.

Melissa says this relationship, between Annie and Kieren, is unlike any she’s ever seen.

“It was like from the beginning she knew Kieren was her girl and that was truly nothing that I’ve done,” she said.

Before Annie can go home with Kieren, she will receive months of training.

“To continue to be calm in any situation,” Walthour explained.

By the end, she’ll be able to detect before Kieren will have a seizure and let her mom know.

Right now, they take Annie to public places like the aquarium where she can get used to being around people.

Now, Kieren and her mom can go out and do things they haven’t been able to do for years.

“I can’t thank them enough for the way it’s going to change our lives,” she said.

Mom is excited to get more rest and Kieren is excited for her best friend to move in.

“I love her!” Kieren told us.


The Bark Box

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