Girl with epilepsy in Lyndonville awaits seizure alert response dog
Jade Moore, 15, has struggled with neurological disorder the past 5 years
LYNDONVILLE – Jade Moore has to be careful around loud noises, and bright and flashing lights – which are often unpredictable. She never knows what will trigger an epileptic seizure.
She can’t watch the Lyndonville fireworks because of the exploding colors and tries to stay clear of the loud booms. Even her brothers need to be careful with the sounds and screens from video games if Jade is closeby.
The seizures aren’t always started by a thunderous noise or flashing light. Sometimes they strike while she is sleeping.
Jade, 15 is a sophomore at Lyndonville. She has had seizures at school, with the ambulance called. It’s worrisome for her and her family, and the school, because her breathing will often slow down during a seizure.
“It scares me because she can’t be left alone,” said Jade’s mother, Elizabeth.
Jade has suffered from epileptic seizures for at least five years. She may have had mini-seizures when she was younger than 10, but Jade and her family didn’t realize it.
But when she was 10, cheerleading at a Medina youth football game at Vets Park, the condition couldn’t be ignored.
She was on the sideline, rooting for the football team when she started twitching and lost her balance. Her arms and legs were shaking, and everything seemed to be spinning.
The seizures have been increasing since then. Jade has suffered two concussions from falling and hitting her head during a seizure.
Jade’s mother stays close to Jade at night and may need to spring into action if there is a seizure. The family, including Jade’s siblings, keep emergency pills on them to give to Jade to help bring her out of a seizure.
Each day she takes 10 different pills to help stave off the seizures. Her mother said the medication seems to work for a few weeks, then the seizures start up again and doctors try other medicines.
The family is optimistic help is on the way. Roman, a German shepherd, is being trained as a seizure alert dog. Roman completes his training in June and is expected to join the family in July. The family has raised $4,000 towards the $18,000 cost. They are seeking help to meet the expense. They have started a Go Fund Me and will be selling candy bars as a fundraiser. Insurance doesn’t cover the cost for the alert dog.
Moore is determined to get Jade the dog. Moore has been gladly taking overtime shifts at Mizkan, a vinegar plant in Lyndonville, to help pay for the dog.
Her daughter has been more withdrawn socially since the seizures increased and became more intense. She is sensitive to people staring at her when she has a seizure and her eyes roll back in her head.
Roman the dog will be able to detect Jade’s odor, which secretes when she has a seizure. Roman will be trained to wake up Elizabeth or a sibling if Jade is having a seizure at night.
The trainers have been sent clothes with Jade’s scent. Near the end of the dog’s training, Jade will go to Florida to spend a week with the dog as the last step in the training.
Jade has had to back off some of her extracurricular activities due to the seizures. She looks forward to being more active at school and the community once she has Roman by her side. Next school year, Jade is planning to enroll at the Orleans-Niagara BOCES to study cosmetology.
Her mother said Jade has been courageous in coping with the condition.
“She’s a tough kid,” Moore said. “She can handle a lot more than most children can handle.”