31 Days of CF: My Service Dog, a Miracle ‘Gift From God’

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by BNS Staff |

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cystic fibrosis infants | Cystic Fibrosis News Today | CF awareness month | graphic showing collage of members of the CF community
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Elizabeth Knight with her partner, Antonio Dominguez, and service dog in training, Piper. (Courtesy of Elizabeth Knight)

Day 22 of 31

This is Elizabeth Knight’s (@65roses_poodle) story:

This is my story about cystic fibrosis and seizures. Although I’ve always had CF, I started having seizures after a car accident and subsequent head injury in January 2019. The head injury wasn’t treated properly at the emergency room. The doctor later concluded that it was a concussion, after which I started falling more, having headaches (way more than just normal migraines), tremors, and convulsing, which I’d learn later are seizures.

No amount of medications or tests proved helpful. My body was having a hard time with CF already. With the addition of seizures, the prognosis wasn’t good. Then an old thought came creeping back in my head later that year. What if I needed a service dog?

I had done a ton of research and talked about it to my CF doctor. He and my team agreed. My quality of life at that time was greatly diminished. I always needed my caregiver and significant other, Antonio, to help me do most everything. I was always tired, in the hospital on IVs, coughing, barely able to walk a few yards, and often in a wheelchair. This was before Trikafta, too.

Then I looked into programs to help me get a dog, most of which I didn’t quality for, were too expensive, or had a long waiting list. I came across a Facebook group that helped me realize I needed to owner-train a dog and could raise money to get a dog I wasn’t allergic to.

Many people generously donated so I could get my standard poodle, Piper. She has changed my life. She is still in training to be a service dog; that takes a long time. But she has helped where modern medicine couldn’t. A miracle and gift from God. Like all of those who helped me get here. So, thank you.

Cystic Fibrosis News Today’s 31 Days of CF campaign will publish one story per day for Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month in May. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more stories like this, using the hashtag #31DaysofCF, or read the full series.