CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - Mary Kay Harper, 11, of Cape Girardeau, has a seizure disorder and gets therapy at Southeast Health's Healthpoint Rehab. She also gets help from a service dog that she's had since she was a baby.
Unfortunately, her pet and helper recently passed away. When her friends at Healthpoint found out, they did something truly heartwarming, that started with a surprise!
The staff at Healthpoint presented a new Cockapoo named "Daisy" to Mary Kay on Friday.
"Oh boy!" said Mary Kay when she saw her puppy for the first time.
Kate Jackson, Vickie Rhodes and several others at Southeast's Healthpoint Rehab all chipped in their time and money to make it happen.
They got the idea a little over a month ago when they got some bad news from Mary Kay's mother, Tania Hale.
"She said Mary Kay's not doing too good today because she lost her service dog," said Rhodes.
"They (Mary Kay & her first service dog) were pretty much brought up together, the puppy was a baby and she was a baby," said Hale.
"I thought right away we've got to do something," Rhodes added.
When a person is about to have a seizure they release a chemical from their hands and mouth. A service dog will smell this and bark to alert of an oncoming seizure.
She'll also lay across the victim to make sure they don't fall or further injure themselves during the attack.
The staff at Healthpoint Rehab knew Mary Kay's family couldn't afford a new service dog, which costs hundreds of dollars. So they collected money around the office, contacted the Cape JayCee's who also donated $250, and then found a breeder near Hannibal, Missouri.
The dog actually cost more than then they had collected, but the breeder discounted the price when Jackson told them who would be receiving 8-week-old Daisy.
Then the deal was done. And now Mary Kay has a new friend and helper!
"We love her so much and she is such a good natured girl and she's always so happy," Rhodes said.
"It makes you want to cry because for one thing we are all so fortunate and these kids need help and it's wonderful to be able to help them," Jackson added.
Mary Kay and Daisy will start training together when Daisy is 6 months old. In the meantime, they are fast becoming good friends.
"I'm excited to watch it grow with her and be trained and I think it'll be a great thing," Jackson said.
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