Community donations of more than $8,649 have made it possible for a 2-year-old boy with a rare movement disorder to get the service dog he needed.
Wesley Logston, from Washington, has been diagnosed with Dystonia, a rare movement disorder that causes his muscles to contract and spasm involuntarily. Symptoms of the incurable chronic disorder surfaced in May when the left side of Wesley’s face sagged intermittently, he dragged his left side, bumped into things, and choked while drinking. Wesley often has what looks to be seizure-like episodes, as if Wesley has a Charley horse of the entire body, as described by his family.
Wesley, who has been flown to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma twice in recent months, had stopped breathing on one occasion and had to be resuscitated. At this point Wesley’s parents, Breanna and Steven, were told their son needed a service dog. The service dog would need to be trained to detect low blood-sugar levels and how to alert someone if Wesley stopped breathing or had one of his seizure-like episodes. This training could potentially save his life.
The Logston family thought they had found their service dog that had already been trained to detect low blood-sugar levels and alert someone if their owner stopped breathing. The additional training needed would cost around $4,000 to get their potential service dog Kinja up to the standards needed to be able to be of maximum benefit to Wesley. These funds were raised but unfortunately the dog was given to another family with a child who suffers from multiple sclerosis.
Although disappointed, Wesley’s family bought another dog, a puppy they have named Sam. Sam comes from a line of service dogs so they are sure Sam will learn her duties quickly. Now that they have not received the previously trained service dog, Sam’s training will be on-going for over two years and the fees could be in excess $30,000 for the vet care, kennel board and $40 per hour training sessions, according to Bellingham-based Brigadoon Youth & Service Dog Programs.
“The family has been so buoyed by the outpouring of caring. I wish I could convey how much of a comfort it is to feel so supported during such a heart-rending time,” said Celeste Mergens, a Lynden resident and the boy’s grandmother.
Breanna Logston, Wesley’s mother, said the family were surprised at the amount of money that has been raised so far, and are thankful for the community’s ongoing support and donations.
HOW TO HELP
Donations can be sent to Sterling Savings Bank in Lynden for the Miracle for Wesley fund. The mailing address is 1794 Front St., Lynden, WA 98264.
The money will be used to train and care for Sam, the service dog who will help Wesley Logston, a 2-year-old Lynden boy diagnosed with a rare movement disorder called dystonia.
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Picture credit as above.