IT’S always good when things come full circle especially in the case of seven-year-old Kenahdy Bainbridge meeting her long sought pal, Kevin.
Since birth, the Parmelia girl has suffered from severe hypoglycaemia, meaning if her blood sugars get too low it can result in seizures.
If Kenahdy doesn’t eat regular small meals and maintain a low GI diet her blood sugars will drop dangerously low.
Cornstarch is used as a treatment to help maintain regular blood sugar levels.
The condition hampered her development causing significant speech delays requiring intensive occupational therapy and speech treatment.
It has unfortunately meant she has become all to familiar with hospitals.
Wanting the best for their child, her parents looked into assistance dogs.
Kenahdy and her family picked up labrador retriever, 14-month-old Kevin little over a week ago from assistance dog group, Smart Pups.
According to mum Amy, Kenahdy’s reaction was a little unexpected.
“She burst into tears – she was a bit terrified as she is quite small and he is quite big but now she is quite fond of him,” she said.
“There will be a lot of work ahead as he still requires scent training two, three times a week.
“The hardest part for me is to be firm when all I want to do is pat and love him.”
Kevin can actually smell when Kenahdy’s blood sugars are dropping then bark out an alert – acting as a preventative measure to protect Kenahdy from her debilitating and damaging seizures.
With low blood sugar levels usually happening at night Kevin will wake both Kenahdy and her parents.
The dogs are not cheap, with a price tag of around $20,000 the family raised $7000 through a GoFundMe page.
MLA Roger Cook took up the family’s cause by organising and paying for a ‘bogan bingo’ with ticket sales going towards Kevin’s purchase.
It was a huge success with money raised from it along with donations from both the Kwinana Lions and Rotary Clubs, Reece Whitby MP and Brand MP Madeliene King knocking a big chunk off the total.
The owner of a shopping centre in Winthrop donated the $7000 balance making Kevin a reality for Kenahdy.