Jedi the dog is trained to sense things – in this case, his training saved a boy with diabetes. The black Labrador service dog is always at the side of a young boy who has Type 1 Diabetes, a serious form of the disease where the body does not produce the needed insulin. Jedi can “smell” high or low levels of blood sugar, and when he does, his job is to notify the boy’s parents or teachers.
Writes Yahoo News on March 9: “While the Nuttall family were sleeping peacefully, Jedi did everything in his power to wake up a little boy’s parents to alert them his blood-sugar levels were low. Seven-year-old Luke was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when he was just two years old and while most children are afraid of the boogeyman, this boy’s fear is that his blood sugar will rise or fall too rapidly.”
Luke’s condition means that his blood sugar levels must be checked nearly ten times a day. When he sleeps, he won’t wake up unless someone or something awakens him. Mom Donnie Nuttall says she has to wake Luke up every few hours to check his levels.
On March 4, shortly after the family went to sleep, Jedi started jumping on and off Donnie and dad Kevin Nuttall’s bed. Luke’s parents checked his Dexcom device and saw that his levels were normal and tried to tell Jedi to go back to sleep. But the dog continued to “bow” – as he is trained to do when Luke is in danger.
Donnie got up and took a blood finger reading and was shocked to see the number show as half that of Luke’s monitor. His levels were plummeting, and if not for Jedi, Luke could have slipped into a coma.
“This may just look like a dog, a sleeping boy and a number on a screen, but this, this moment right here is so much more,” Donnie captioned on her black and white social media photo, which has since gone viral. “This is a picture of Jedi saving his boy. Saving him from highs and lows and from ever feeling alone.”
Adds Yahoo News: “Jedi was adopted from the Canine Hope for Diabetics in California and the family have had Jedi since he was an 11-month-old puppy. He is trained to recognize change in blood sugar levels by smelling changes in Luke’s chemical composition from as far as across a playground.”
The Nuttalls have created a Facebook community page and a website to draw awareness about a disease that desperately needs a cure. According to the American Diabetes Association, Type 1 diabetes affects fewer than 5 percent of people with the disease.
“It’s very easy to feel alone in a world that doesn’t understand all that somebody with type 1 diabetes goes through on a daily basis,” Donnie said.