Shannon Locke has dealt with complications from epilepsy for the past four years. The 21-year-old who was diagnosed at the age of 17 recently discussed how debilitating the neurological disorder has affected her life. According to the Belfast Telegraph, Locke revealed the disorder ultimately led to her decision to forego attending college. She reportedly suffered an average of approximately 20 seizures a day, and her condition caused her to fall into a deep depression, secluding herself from friends and family, barely leaving her home.
“It was a terribly dark time,” Locke said. “I couldn’t continue with my college course as I was having so many seizures, it just wasn’t possible. I lost a lot of my friends as they were embarrassed to be with me in case I had an attack. I had to leave my course and ended up going back to hospital. After that, things just fell apart for me and I became depressed and had to take anti-depressants. It was a terribly dark time.”
The staggering number of seizures caused Locke to have to move back in with her mother. However, the move didn’t diminish the number of obstacles she faced. In fact, things actually got a bit worse because even the smallest of tasks led to potentially hazardous outcomes.
“When I was walking up the street, I would be looking out for sharp objects in case I had an attack and fell. When I take an attack, I just drop wherever I am and it was frightening. I had to avoid stress in an attempt to manage my epilepsy, and would practise deep breathing techniques to help – but it wasn’t the best time for my mental health.”
But, surprisingly, there’s a silver lining now. Apparently, her dog Poppy has become a really big help to aid with her condition. The golden Labrador retriever puppy she purchased for company offers much more than companionship. According to the Daily Mail, the dog can reportedly pinpoint when she’s getting ready to have a seizure. Although it’s no secret that dogs are intuitive, Poppy takes things to an unprecedented level, and now his life-saving warning has been caught on camera. Now, footage of the dog’s astonishing warning has gone viral.
“One day she just started to act strange, I’d no idea why. She just kept coming up to me and was panting. I didn’t think much of it to begin with, but then I realised she was picking up that something wasn’t right.”
Shannon’s sister also took to Reddit with more information about Poppy’s sixth sense.
“Up to 15-20 minutes before a seizure, Poppy will let my sister know by showing some distress. Generally she does this by using her paws to distract my sister on her lower legs or uses her snout to press on the back of her knee. Shannon will then have enough time to switch anything off and make herself safe. It’s amazing. I think what needs to be said is that Poppy isn’t necessarily preventative, but she helps my sister live a more independent life.”
Shannon added, “She’s not only my best friend, she’s a lifesaver. She has given me the confidence to get out and about and enjoy my life again.”
[Image via Facebook]