By Brad Hall / Nighttime Editor
As I’ve said in the past, as much as I enjoy telling stories from my life, I love sharing stories from others that much more.
This week, I want to share the story of someone very special who needs our help.
Her name is Haley Jordan Martin but everyone calls her Jordan.
She is the 13-year-old daughter of Shane Martin, who is a pastor for Old Time Missionary Baptist Church in Gray.
When Jordan was just 1 year old, Shane and his family noticed she was suffering seizure-like activity.
Following a visit to the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, doctors diagnosed Jordan with a form of epilepsy called Lennox Gastaut Syndrome.
Lennox Gastaut Syndrome is an uncontrollable form of epilepsy which carries a reduced life expectancy.
Doctors told the family she was having more than 100 seizures per day, according to an EEG report.
Among the seizures Jordan has to deal with is one called “Atonic,” or a “drop seizure.” This type causes Jordan to lose all her muscle control and fall violently to the ground. They come without notice and have caused many cuts, bruises and a couple of broken bones throughout Jordan’s life.
The syndrome is extremely rare and nearly impossible to control.
Jordan has been on all anticonvulsant medications, and has had a vagal nerve stimulator implanted in her chest. It sends electric signals to her brain to help control the seizures.
At the age of 13, Jordan has the cognition of someone under the age of 1.
Suffice it to say, Jordan’s quality of life right now is very low.
But there is a way we can all pitch in and help improve it.
Jordan’s parents have been accepted to work toward a service dog through a nonprofit organization called “4 Paws for Ability.”
4 Paws for Ability trains service dogs for families and children with serious medical and developmental challenges. It costs 4 Paws for Ability $22,000 to train and place a service dog. And when a family raises $13,000 toward the mission, that family gets a free service dog.
In Jordan’s case, a service dog would alert the family when she has a seizure they don’t know about. It would help her with stability as she walks, and assist her when she falls. The dog would also be trained to sense a seizure before it happens.
To learn more about 4 Paws for Ability, you can visit their website at www.4pawsforability.org.
So to receive the dog and have it trained, Jordan’s family needs to raise the $13,000.
This is where we can help out.
Shane and his family have created a blog where folks can go online to read about Jordan, see pictures of her and make donations.
You can visit it at http://www.razoo.com/story/Jordansdog.
Once you are there, you can submit a one-time donation or set up a payment plan.
Or if you prefer to just send a check, you can make one payable to “4 Paws for Ability” and send it to: Shane Martin, P.O. Box 422, Bimble, KY 40915.
So far, $700 has been raised so Jordan really needs our help to reach the goal of $13,000.
Remember, Galatians 6:10 tells us, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
I, myself, do not have children but I cannot begin to imagine what it would be like watching your child suffer this way.
But as a pastor and a true child of God, Shane will admit he has worked hard for his family his entire life. He has never asked for anything that he has not worked for.
But he would do anything to help his daughter have a better life.
Let’s all do whatever we can to help out this beautiful, little girl. If you can give, and it is on your heart to give, then by all means do so.
If you can’t, then send this family your prayers.
As much as Jordan has been a blessing to others, this would truly be a blessing for her and her family.
To learn more, you can visit Jordan’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/jordansdog, or you can email Shane at email@example.com.
Brad Hall is the nighttime editor for the Times-Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit his blog at hallthingsconsidered.blogspot.com