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Diabetes service dog has saved girl's life several times

Posted at 9:04 AM, Nov 18, 2019

A girl from Kentucky was left behind in foster care when her mother died ten years ago.

Her adoptive mother says she's been on a traumatic journey that has lead to a series of problems.

One of those problems is type one diabetes. She fights the disease every day, and now she has a four-legged friend fighting with her.

They say a dog is man's best friend. This dog, named Hannah, is more than just a best friend to this girl.

They share the same name and also share an incredible bond.

Hannah's mother died when she was just three.

She was put in to foster care, and that's when Lisa Hill, her now adoptive mother, stepped in.

Hill said, “She's had a lot of things that most of us won't ever go through. Because probably when she was a baby, more than likely her needs were never taken care of. So, it didn't matter how much she cried, it didn't matter if she threw a fit, it didn't matter if she was defiant. No matter what the course was, nothing was ever taken care of for her.”

Her mother says that because of the lack of care and attention, Hannah developed autism and it's now difficult for her to express herself.

Hannah is a type one diabetic, and needs to monitor her blood sugar levels, when they're too high, or too low.

"She's not able to say, mom, I feel bad or I feel like my sugar is high or low, you have to watch for cues," Hill says.

That's why she depends on Hannah, her literal lifesaver.

Donna Steinbach with Stone Creek Kennels trained Hannah from birth.

"Hannah has a very good nose and she's bred very well for that," Steinbach says.

She's trained to pick up ammonia levels in Hannah's breath, and to notify her mother if her levels are too high or too low by simply nudging Lisa.

It's a reminder to her mom to take her blood sugar level.

With that nudge, she's been able to save Hannah's life, several times.

It's an unconditional love and an inseparable bond that's helped Hannah defy all odds.

“You think about all she's been through until the age of three, she's a miracle she's a miracle that she's even here,” Hill says.

Experts say type one diabetes can lead to things like kidney disease, stroke, nerve problems, eye problems and foot problems.