Gina, who was paired with her service dog Rhino in 2018, has intractable epilepsy from a TBI (traumatic brain injury). Rhino is specifically trained to alert Gina before a seizure happens so that she can get to safety.
How Rhino Helps Gina
In September 2017, Gina suffered a seizure that nearly took her life. She fell in a local department store, and metal shelving fell on her while she was shopping by herself. This was before she had Rhino.
There have been other instances that Gina could have been seriously injured, but since having Rhino, things have changed. One instance that Gina described was deciding to take a shower in the middle of the day when no one else was home. With her condition, the shower can be a very dangerous place. Many epilepsy-related deaths are caused by accidental drowning or falls in the shower or bath due to falling from a seizure.
Rhino blocked her from entering the shower to keep her safe. Due to Rhino’s efforts, Gina went to lie down in bed with Rhino against her back. She woke up with a headache and a small bite on her tongue, classic signs that she had a seizure. Rhino stays close to Gina and sits her down and even nudges her onto her side to ride out a seizure. He is also trained to press her life alert button if needed.
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