Inspiring: UK’s first ever carer dog saves the NHS £837,000
A policewoman paralysed and suffering chronic epilepsy says her NHS-funded Labrador is Britain's first ever state-funded care worker canine, and a life saver.
Published on the 03/01/2020, 22:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:34
Jackie Kennedy was brutally attacked while on duty with the Met in 2007. She was later diagnosed with spinal stenosis which causes weakness and paralysis in the lower half of her body. Ms Kennedy was also diagnosed with epilepsy and must endure regular and “brutal” seizures.
Writes The Mirror, Kennedy, who lives in East London, was urged to contact Canine Partners, a UK charity that specialises in training dogs to assist people with life-limiting physical disabilities.
By way of a government grant Kennedy was able to pay for assistance dog Kingston in 2015, and her doing so has transformed her life.
“Kingston is my best friend, my soul pup, my heart, my world, my hero, my lifesaver, my everything,” Kennedy said.
“Kingston has not only transformed my life, Kingston has given me a brand new one. He has given me hope, love and a fantastic future crammed full of adventure and fun. I owe this truly magical boy so much.
“I can never thank the charity enough for bringing Kingston into my life.”
A myriad of talents
Kennedy says that five-year-old Kingston has since saved the NHS around £837,000; money the Service would have spent on a human home carer. Furthermore, Kingston innate ability to detect Kennedy's frequent seizures - something a human nurse does not possess - has saved her life on numerous occasions.
Kingston knows over 200 commands, according to Canine Partners.
“I owe this boy so much,” Kennedy told The Mirror.
“Society tells us that if you are not productive then you are not good enough anymore. Don't listen to that.
“Kingston has made my home somewhere I don't just sit in all day, but somewhere I return to after a day out. I wouldn't have the confidence without him.”
Read more about Kingston’s abilities on Canine Partners’ blog.