WKYT | Lexington, Kentucky | News

New dog more than best friend, life saver


PULASKI COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A Pulaski County girl has a potentially dangerous form of diabetes and her parents knew a dog could be a life saver. The service dog was too expensive, but Tuesday the community jumped into action to help the family.

Nighttime isn't an easy time for the Whitis family of Pulaski County, knowing what could happen to 8-year-old Haylee.

Dana Whitis, Haylee's mother, says, "I set my alarm at 12. I get up at 2, usually back up at 4."

Her 8-year-old daughter Haylee has diabetes that could threaten her life.

Since Haylee had two seizures in the middle of the night her parents can barely sleep.

Today, that changed, and it was the end of a long journey.

Haylee thought she wasn't getting her dog until tomorrow, but her family and friends wanted to surprise her.

Bristol, the dog, can detect changed in Haylee's sugar levels.

The dogs can actually smell the difference. They begin training when the dogs are 7-weeks-old.

The family raised a lot of money from different events, motorcycle rides and basketball tournaments and some donations from people they didn't even know.

One lady gave the family $5,000.

The family says, "A complete stranger, and she asked to be kept anonymous. If she is watching, thank you."

The family says money poured in from all over, from Lexington to as far away as Georgia.

All $25,000 needed was raised in just three months, and they even had some left over.

The family took the extra money and donated it. They gave $700 to another girl in Alabama in the same situation and another $700 to a girl in New Mexico.

Paying forward the good will others showed to them.

The Whitis family says the dog is already partially trained, and they will continue training for another two years.


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