A DIABETES sufferer who was told she would probably die by the age of 18 has excelled in her GCSEs at the age of 25 – thanks to her pet dog.
Alice Halstead had almost given up her fight for life when she was matched with Holly, a curly-coated Labrador Retriever who had been trained to anticipate diabetic seizures. Now the two are celebrating Alice achieving an A in English and a B in Maths just 24 hours after finishing runner up in the Amplifon Brave Britons’ hero pet category.
In her teens Alice had spent three-and-a-half years in hospital due to auto immune insulin syndrome and type one diabetes.
Once she was frequently being found unconscious because of blood sugar seizures, when her levels were too high or too low, but Holly has been trained by the charity Medical Detection to identify problems using her sense of smell.
This can happen once or twice a day and she has alerted Alice more than 4,750 times.
Alice, of Embsay, North Yorkshire, said: “I have just experienced two great days I never believed would happen a few years ago. First I went down to London for the Amplifon Brave Briton awards and 24 hours later I was celebrating my exam results.”
Alice who studied though distant learning and took her exams at Skipton Girls’ High School, said: “I have Holly to thank a heck of a lot. Apart from giving me the protection against my diabetes she has also given me courage and inspiration.”
She added: “Before Holly came along, I was reliant on other people and unable to think about what the future might be. Holly has allowed me the freedom to get on with my life and the confidence to go out on my own.”