Our Family's Rescue Dog Saved my Little Brother's Life: Casey's Story

This article was written exclusively for Information About Diabetes by Casey Signorino, whose younger brother, Christian, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2012.

In October of 2005, we were the first family to rescue one of the black lab puppies from Hurricane Katrina.

At the beginning of 2012, my little brother, Christian, 13 years old at the time, was severely sick with what we thought was an intense cold or maybe a prolonged flu virus. One morning around 2 a.m., I heard my brother screaming for my mom. I immediately ran to his room to see what was wrong and got a weakened response from him begging for water. I brought him a cup of water and told him that if he needed anything just to come to my room since I'm right next door instead of going across the house to Mom's room. Around 6 a.m. that same morning, my mom woke me up in a panic and said that she was taking Christian to the hospital because he was passed out on the living room floor and not moving.

Prior to my mother waking me up, our dog, Katrina, had ran into my mom's room causing a huge scene to wake her up. Finally my mom got up and went straight to the back door to let Katrina out back. All she thought was that Katrina had to use the bathroom because this was her usual time of wake on a normal work schedule. Katrina proceeded to lead my mom to the living room, where my little brother was passed out, unconscious, on the verge of a diabetic coma.

When the ambulance got there, the paramedics informed us that he definitely had Type 1 diabetes and if he had been lying there for maybe 30 more minutes he may have never woken up. If my dog hadn't woken up my mom when she did, my little brother would have died.

Christian, now 16, has been through the struggles of adjusting to his disease along with the burden of living with it. However, he is also a rising junior at White Knoll High School with an impressive GPA and is six months away from being a black belt in Mixed Martial Arts. I want young teens to know that this disease will not stop them from anything they want to accomplish and if anything, it leads them to living a healthy, proactive life.

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