It was the middle of the night. The Nuttall family members were all sound asleep. But then their dog, Jedi, started jumping on the bed and wouldn’t stop until Dorrie woke up.
The dog came in and jumped on the bed, then off again, and then back on. Dorrie felt him jumping but didn’t wake up. The dog was not about to give up. When the dog laid on her, she finally woke up.
Dorrie knew something must be wrong.
Their 7-year-old son, Luke, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was only 2-years old. Because he was too young to recognize the symptoms of low blood sugar, they decided to adopt their diabetic alert dog, Jedi. And tonight they were so thankful that they had.
The dog was trained to recognize the symptoms of low blood sugar.
Dorrie clambered out of bed and examined her son’s continuous glucose monitor. The monitor keeps ongoing track of his sugar levels. Everything looked good, and her son looked okay, so Dorrie turned to go back to bed.
But the dog was unrelenting. He bowed again and again, repeating the signal he’d been trained to send if he sensed that Luke’s blood sugar had fallen too low.
Dorrie knew the dog meant business. The sleep fog started to wear off and Dorrie started to think clearer. Then, suddenly, she was wide-awake and knew something was wrong.
Dorrie pricked her son’s finger and got a blood sugar level that was almost half of what was showing on the monitor – it was way too low, and was falling fast.
She quickly gave her son a glucose tablet and watched him slowly recover.
Then she took a picture and posted it on Facebook:
“Luke was laying right next to me, just inches from me, and without Jedi I would have had no idea that he was dropping out of a safe range,” she wrote in her post that has since gone viral. “This is a picture of a Jedi saving his boy.”
Diabetes is new to Dorrie and her family. They’ve never had to deal with something like this before. So she uses her Facebook page to chronicle countless middle-of-the-night episodes like this one to spread awareness and expose other people to the realities of diabetes.
But it’s also a testament to the amazing things these dog can to do help diabetic patients. Sometimes, like in this circumstance, the dog was a better judge of the little boy’s health than his parents, a high-tech monitoring machine, or even the patient himself.
Dogs have an incredible powerful sense of smell. This amazing ability allows them to detect hormones, cancer, deadly bacteria, and even seizures.
Although it’s unknown exactly what the dogs are smelling when they sense a patient’s blood sugar has fallen too low, it’s a life-saving benefit of having a trained dog.
Dorrie noted that she had an alarm set to check Luke’s blood sugar in an hour. But that would’ve been too late.
Luke and his dog have quickly become inseparable. They do everything together. The dog understood his role and took it very seriously, and saved this little boy’s life.
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