A mother of a child who suffers from non-epileptic seizures has become the first in the UK to deliver in a hospital with a bedside dog as ‘medical aid’.
Charlotte Beard, 24, from Dorset, also has a heart condition and post-traumatic stress disorder, and has suffered three miscarriages, say reports.
Her faithful canine, Flump, who is a Maltese multipurpose assistance dog, became her companion two years ago, and is trained to detect seizures before they happen.
It was a doctor who suggested that Charlotte, who worked as a wildlife rehabilitator before she had to quit due to her health, try to find a service dog to help her gain confidence.
She adopted Flump when he was only ten weeks old, and the two have been inseparable ever since. Charlotte was said to have been in labour for 50 hours at Poole Hospital, while Flump stayed by her side throughout the birth. She went on to welcome her son Alfie, who reportedly weighed 6lb 10oz on December 4.
Speaking to The Times she said Flump and Alfie were ‘brothers’, and added: “We say Flump is like my partner or an extension of myself. The idea of doing such a momentous moment in my life, also such a vulnerable point, without Flump by my side just didn’t seem right.”
When she was taken into hospital for the birth in early-December, Flump stayed by her side, occasionally sitting nearer to her. Charlotte and her boyfriend Ash Pheonix, 29, suffered three miscarriages and Flump offered support throughout their ordeal.
Her partner Ash ensured he was taken on regular breaks to eat and to go for walks. Charlotte said, “He was there for work as scheduled and was only away from me for his scheduled breaks and during the Cesarean. He is already completely in love with his little brother.
After giving birth, she, Alfie, and Flump stayed in the hospital for five days for tests. Now Charlotte wants to see the medical assistance dog policy allowed in more hospitals, saying:
“You wouldn’t ask someone to go to the hospital without their wheelchair, so long as it is. reasonably, an assistance dog has the right to attend and help their handler.”
Flump has been by Charlotte’s side every step of the way to welcome her son Alfie.
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