CHADWELL HEATH, Britain - Seorang remaja berusia 19 tahun, Kelly Sears menghidap penyakit ganjil apabila dia terlena semasa berjalan, lapor sebuah akhbar semalam.
Kelly kerap terjatuh semasa sedang berjalan apabila dia tertidur dengan tiba-tiba menyebabkannya mengalami luka.
Ekoran itu, remaja tersebut diberikan seekor anjing yang terlatih oleh sebuah pertubuhan kebajikan yang diajar untuk menjilat leher dan muka Kelly apabila dia tidur dengan tiba-tiba untuk menyedarkannya daripada tidur.
Anjing berusia dua tahun itu menjadi teman baharu remaja berkenaan sejak dua bulan lalu.
Kelly mula menunjukkan tanda-tanda menghidap penyakit tidur itu yang dikenali sebagai Narcolepsy semasa berumur 15 tahun apabila dia tertidur di dalam kelas di sekolahnya. - Agensi
A teenager who suffers from the sleep illness narcolepsy has had her life transformed by a specially-trained dog.
Kelly Sears, 19, from Chadwell Heath, Essex regularly falls asleep without any warning and is often let with nasty cuts and bruises as she tumbles to the ground.
But the teenager's life has dramatically improved thanks to a Cocker Spaniel called Theo who has been taught to lick her neck and face until she wakes up.Pooch protector: Kelly's dog Theo is trained to wake her when she collapses
Pooch protector: Kelly's dog Theo is trained to wake her when she collapses
Theo was given to Kelly by the charity Medical Detection Dogs and is the only one in Europe specially trained to deal with a narcoleptic person.
The attentive two-year-old dog has become Kelly's "shadow" in the past two months and is with her every moment of the day and night.
Before she had Theo, Kelly would regularly be out for the count for minutes but now she is woken by a loving lick after just a few seconds.More...
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Theo has even be trained to go to fetch help if Kelly hurts herself when she falls asleep - getting the attention of passers by and then leading them back to his owner.
His amazing abilities have given the A-level student a new lease of life and more confidence to go out on her own.
Theo first came to the attention of the Milton Keynes-based charity after it emerged he could recognise signs that someone was about to have an epileptic seizure.
Staff from the charity are now working to identify signals Kelly is about to have an episode so they can then teach Theo to recognise them and warn her before she drops off.Out and about: Kelly says she feels far more confident leaving the house now she has Theo with her Kelly said: 'Theo has been amazing, he has made a huge difference to my life. '
I can go out on my own with him and feel confident that I will be alright if something happens. And when I am out now I am not constantly worrying about falling asleep.
'I have to take a dose of drugs every night at 2am so that I am not falling asleep at college and when my alarm goes off in the night he will even wake me up if I am sleeping through it.'
Her loyal companion even follows her to the bathroom, just in case she falls asleep there too.
She added: 'I can fall asleep absolutely anywhere - when I am out shopping, on the bus and I have even fallen down the stairs a few times.
'I am lucky that I have never been badly injured because my body goes very limp when I fall.
'People think that I have fainted or collapsed and will quite often call for an ambulance - but because Theo wears a jacket saying 'medial alert dog in training' they are not so worried.'
Her boyfriend Craig, 26, has to share Kelly with the new man on the scene, but the two have also become the best of friends.
Kelly first started showing signs of Narcolepsy when she fell asleep in classes at school aged 15.
Doctors initially believed she was suffering from ME and it was only when a family friend watched a TV programme featuring people with narcolepsy that her family realised she might have been wrongly diagnosed.
Doctors at St Thomas' Hospital, London, then officially diagnosed her with the condition and she now has to take a cocktail of drugs - including Sodium Oxybate and Dexedrine - to keep the symptoms under control.
Kelly added: 'My mum read about a dog in Canada who would alert its narcoleptic owner before she fell asleep.
'It was through that we ended up making contact with Medical Detection Dogs and the charity was really interested about the condition when we contacted them.
'Initially they did not know if it was going to work out okay, but they said to give it a try and I first met Theo last August.
'It was so important that I was happy with him and that he was happy with me, otherwise it just would not have worked out. I have never had a dog before, so I was quite nervous about it but as soon as we met, we got on really well.'
In February Kelly and Theo spent a week doing an intensive training course before he then started to live with Kelly and her mother, Lynn, father, Dave, and sisters Emma, 21, and Alice, 15.
They said the stress of looking after Kelly has disappeared thanks to her new four-legged friend