A teenager born with a rare and progressive muscle wasting condition, expecting to end up in a wheelchair, has revealed how her Great Dane has helped her embrace a normal life.
Bella Burton, 13, from Pleasant Lake, New Hampshire, appeared on Channel 5 documentary Dogs With Extraordinary Jobs and showed how four-year-old Great Dane, George, empowered her to walk without using crutches.
Bella was born with Morquio syndrome, which severely limits her mobility, and her mother Rachel revealed that she needed crutches when she was ten years old and was told that she would soon be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life.
Bella, whose legs had gone away, was able to support her weight after six months with George.
& # 39; My leg muscles became very weak and it was hard to walk, but once I had George, it forced me to walk a bit, & # 39; she explained.
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Bella Burton (photo), 13, from Pleasant Lake, New Hampshire, USA, revealed how her assistance dog George helped her walk, run, and swim
Three years before Bella (photo ten) got George, she would have to rely on crutches or a wheelchair, because Morquio syndrome affected her mobility
Bella (photo) is now able to swim, dive and do flips in water after a match with George as a volunteer at the Service Dog Project in Ipswich, Massachusetts
Bella was paired to George while working at the Service Dog Project in Ipswich, Massachusetts.
She talks about the dogs that ran away from her when she first came to the center, known for matching people with disabilities with Great Denes.
Bella said: & # 39; When I started to sign up with the assistance dog, it was just fun because I spent all the time with all my favorite animals.
& # 39; It didn't look like work, it kind of looked like going out with all my friends and the animals.
& # 39; I am an animal person, so I liked all dogs, but none really liked me. It's because of my voice, it's like a high tone. & # 39;
After a while, George was the only dog that would stay in his kennel when Bella came in.
Bella & # 39; s mother Rachel, admits that she was nervous about linking Bella to George because of his height when she was 40 pounds, meanwhile he was 130 pounds
She continued: & # 39; First he started running away and then slowly after a while he just stayed. And then I would brush it out and it wouldn't let me leave.
& # 39; As if he is blocking the door or sitting on my lap so that I cannot leave.
& # 39; Then we started taking him home for the weekend and so on, we would hang out and play. He would get used to the family and after a while he became mine. & # 39;
Rachel was afraid that Bella could drive George, because when they were paired she was only 40 pounds, meanwhile he was 130 pounds.
Since she lives with George, Bella (photo) can walk through the house and regain her independence
Rachel said: & # 39; George knew what Bella needed and exactly when she needed it. If she had to walk slower, George would go slower so that they could walk side by side.
& # 39; If she had a good day and could walk faster, he would walk faster. He knew what she needed, exactly when she needed. & # 39;
Bella & # 39; s doctors were surprised how her leg definition improved along with her mental vision.
The thirteen-year-old said that the German Dog, who received a prize for his help to her, can be protective.
Rachel said: & # 39; Many children of thirteen with morquio are already limited to wheelchairs. Bella was told that she would never ride a bike and she was determined to sit on a two-wheeler and ride a bike.
& # 39; George likes to stay close, follows her and runs alongside. He tries to keep up with her wherever she is. We have been told that she will never be able to swim, now that she sees her kicking, diving, flipping, it's great.
& # 39; The power she now has with George, her ability to just be a child, is amazing. She likes to prove everyone wrong and to do things that she has been told will never do.
Twitter users were stunned by the service dog and praised Channel 5 for emphasizing his work
& # 39; He has given her independence. She can now walk through the house without George. She can walk up and down our stairs without much help, where three years ago she could not do many of these things. & # 39;
Social media users were impressed by how George helped and transformed Bella's life twitter to praise the dog.
One person said: & # 39; Watching dogs with extraordinary jobs is literally so heartwarming & # 39;
Another added: & # 39; It is actually amazing what dogs are capable of with the right kind of training. Who knows where we would be without them & # 39;
WHAT IS MORQUIO SYNDROME?
Morquio syndrome, also known as Mucopolysaccharidosis Type 4, is a rare, inherited birth defect.
The syndrome is an autosomal recessive trait, meaning that both parents must be carriers of the gene that causes Morquio to be diagnosed with their child.
It is caused by mutations in the GALNS gene or the GLB1 gene, which provide instructions for producing enzymes that break down a long sugar molecule chain known as glycosaminoglycans.
These molecules build up a number of different body parts, including skin, tendons, ligaments, cartilage and bone.
It estimated that it affects one in 250,000 births with symptoms that appear between the ages of one to three
Signs and symptoms:
- Short height
- Abnormal bone development
- Easily bendable joints
- Beat kneeds
- Large head with a very short body
Due to the lack of enzymes, Morquio can damage a child's physical capabilities and cause enlarged organs, scoliosis, a heart murmur and breathing problems.
There is currently no cure for Morquio syndrome. Current treatment options include enzyme replacement therapy, gene therapy and bone marrow transplants.
Cognitive function is not affected by Morquio, but life expectancy can be reduced depending on how the symptoms serve.
Source: National Institutes of Health
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