A generous donation from Midfield’s Colin McKenna has been ‘life-changing’ for Ben Stewart and his family.
Ben and his family’s lives have changed dramatically since he started having seizures as a 10-year-old.
When Colin heard the story he was immediately moved and contributed the $20,000 minimum, enabling Calvin the companion dog to join the family. He has since offered to provide the dog’s food for his first year.
“Ben’s story really moved me and I was more than happy to help such a worthy cause,” Colin said.
“We must always recognise that some people are not as lucky as us and help them as much as we can.”
The Stewarts have a slightly different opinion on the donation.
“We call it a miracle,” Ben’s mum Kylie said. “We’re incredibly grateful, it was beyond our expectations for someone to do that.
“It has ensured my peace of mind and Ben’s peace of mind and changed the dynamics of our family for the better”.
Companion dogs are trained to recognise changes in smell, which can be indicative of seizure activity. Then then stay with the patient and comfort them until the symptoms subside.
“Companion dogs can also reduce seizure activity as their bond with the patient grows, increasing their security and safety and subsequently improving their seizure threshold.
“Every year for the last three years Ben has had seizures when he has had his flu shot.
“This year he had his flu shots four weeks after Calvin came and didn’t have a seizure. We were quite ecstatic.
“Ben has also been able to enjoy his first ever AFL footy match (pictured), where Calvin helped to keep him calm.
“We’d never been able to go to events like this before.
“Ben is playing outside more at home as well, a big goal. He adores playing ball with Calvin.”