Cooper chases Finn in the backyard. They’re having fun – it’s a moment of pure happiness between a boy and his dog. But this is no normal friendship. The bond between 5-year-old Cooper and his dog is unlike any other.
When Cooper was 4 months old, he had his first seizure. When his parents took him to the doctor, they heard the words “Dravet Syndrome” for the first time. The diagnosis is a catastrophic form of epilepsy, and the outlook for the condition is tough. Cooper’s parents learned that he will suffer from life threatening seizures many times per day, every day, for the rest of his life.
Living with a seizure disorder changes everything. Cooper can never be left alone, and he will never live a “normal life.” For years, he yearned for a measure of independence, and more than anything else, he wanted a dog who could help him achieve that dream.
Through Make-A-Wish® Mid-Atlantic, Cooper received his wish to have a service dog. Finn supports Cooper through his seizures: he fetches medications, braces to help Cooper stand, anchors to keep Cooper in place and watches over Cooper so that his parents can leave him alone for periods of time. Finn has changed Cooper’s life in a practical sense.
Finn has also provided Cooper and his parents with a joy that they have been missing since Cooper’s diagnosis. Cooper’s parents shared, “Finn completed our family.” He is Cooper’s friend, his companion and his brother. To see more of their story, visit www.CoopersWish.org.