A dog is being credited with sniffing out a dangerous drop in the blood-sugar level of a seven-year-old Los Angeles boy while he slept, alerting his mother and ultimately saving his life.
The child's mother, Dorrie Nuttal, described how her son's diabetes dog, Jedi, sat on her to wake her up. When she checked her son's blood-sugar monitors, the levels appeared steady. But the dog would not move from the boy's side and, when his mother finally checked the boy's blood sugar with a finger prick test, it was dangerously low.
"This may just look like a dog, a sleeping boy and a number on a screen, but this, this moment right here is so much more. This is a picture of Jedi saving his boy. Saving him from highs and lows and from ever feeling alone," said Dorrie
Dorrie started a Facebook page for her son Luke 4 years ago after her was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of two.
"I share the good the bad and the ugly on this page. I talk about my fears, my worries, my frustrations but also our triumphs, our achievements and how much hope I have for a better future for my son."
Since his diagnosis Dorrie has shared every aspect of Luke's journey - including how Jedi came to their family. Jedi came to the family as a puppy and trained him with the help of amazing professional trainers at Canine Hope for diabetics. "Having a DAD (diabetic alert dog) is a ton of work and not for everyone (and that's ok). Luke wears a pump and a dexcom CGM, a wonderful tool I recommend to everyone," said Dorrie.
Dorrie recently shared on Facebook the story of one nighttime incident where Jedi lived up to his name. "This is a picture of a Jedi saving his boy. Amidst a disease that does everything in its power to make life so much harder, this is a picture of loyalty and love and perseverance. A reminder that we will not let diabetes win, that we will never give up, and that we will always fight for our children."
Night alerts. (and just to clarify for people who just joined us Jedi catches dropping blood sugars before they go too low or very early on in the drop, we just call them all lows because to Jedi they are - even if it isn't technically a diabetic low - of under 70. We don't rely 100% on Jedi we have the CGM and still set alarms to check Luke over night because Jedi is a living breathing creature and can and does miss alerts as wonderful as he is he needs sleep too) Jedi jumped off the bed and started to alert (he's a big dog I always can feel him move around and jump off). I grabbed my phone to use for a flashlight and decided to turn the flash on and film what happened next. I missed the beginning of the alert but you can see him pawing the bed and yawning which is his stress signal that that something is wrong. Jedi caught this drifting down blood sugar at 72 which isn't dangerous in itself but it is low for night and Jedi knows when he's drifting lower so we can treat and watch closely - this early alert allows us to prevent as many dangerous lows as possible at night. Don't worry I immediately went to the kitchen to grab Luke a glucose tab - no Luke's or Jedi's were harmed making this video. A FEW THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW BEFORE WATCHING THIS.1. Not all diabetic alert dogs alert at night. Jedi was a wonderful day alerter by the time he was one year-old but it took us until he was 18 months old with LOTS of training and LOTS of work to get him to alert at night. We still work on it and reinforce it to this day. He catches most things at night but he is a living creature that needs rest and if he's too tired he can miss and we never blame him for that. 2. Jedi's night alert includes jumping off the bed and doing whatever it takes to wake me up. He also bows for lows. 3. Luke wears a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor (an absolutely wonderful tool that everybody should have with or without a dog) it will alarm if Luke goes low but it is slightly delayed so if we wait for the alarms he would be lower. 3. At night we want Jedi to alert anything under 75-80 so that we can take immediate action. 4. My phone is within a few feet of me 24 hours a day since I track Luke's blood sugar on my watch that is Bluetooth connected to my phone. My phone, his kit, all his emergency supplies are on my headboard at all times when I sleep. 5. Jedi sleeps with me since I'm the one that he has to tell there's a blood sugar issue. He can smell Luke from my room with no problem. 6. Having a dog alert at night actually means you get less sleep sometimes. You have to acknowledge, reward and confirm every alert even if you're tired and you don't want to. 7. Oh and we love Jedi. ❤️he is family. (The baby sleeps right next to me so I'm whispering and I sped up the part where I was fumbling with Luke's finger prick he was moving around a lot and as you can see I have a bandage on my thumb due to stitches which makes testing Luke a little bit harder. Hopefully you get the idea of what alerts look like. It took a LOT of work over 3.5 years to get him alerting like this)