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Jackson Newspapers - Ripley, WV
  • Mission Kyle is "paw"sible

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  • RIPLEY - McFarland, now five years old, was born to a God-loving family on May 21, 2009.
    Samantha McFarland (Kyle’s mother) did not reach her full third trimester when pregnant with Kyle. Kyle was born three months early and upon birth was determined to be septic, meaning there was an infection within his blood stream. After a week-long hospital stay on IV antibiotics, Kyle was able to come home.
    At three-months old, Kyle had his first absence seizure. An absence seizure according to www.webmd.com lasts between 10-30 seconds. The person, most often a child age 5 to 15, abruptly stops whatever he or she is doing (talking, walking) and appears to “stare into space.” Absence seizures rarely cause a true convulsion in which the person falls down or collapses. Despite briefly losing consciousness, the person recovers fully with no lingering confusion or other ill effects.  
    For the next year, Kyle and his family were in and out of the hospital. Kyle had been prescribed seizure medication at three months old, and from 2010 until May 2014 was seizure free. In May 2014, Kyle started having drop and grand mal seizures. After all the testing, doctors have completed on five-year-old Kyle- they have yet to determine the overall reason for Kyle’s seizures. During one-drop seizure, Kyle fell and suffered a head injury requiring four staples. Since that incident, Kyle has a helmet he wears for protection in case of an unforeseen drop seizure. Samantha shared that there was a two week interval in which Kyle experienced 5-17 seizures on a daily basis.
    During this trying time, Jadon McFarland, Kyle’s big sister. has been a huge help assisting Samantha in any way she can. Samantha says she’s very blessed to have both of her children.
    Kyle and his family were introduced to another family at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital that was dealing with the same medical problems. They introduced the McFarlands to an organization called “4-Paws for Ability.” It’s an organization that offers canine companionship to individuals with various specific needs such as seizures. The process has already begun and Kyle’s mother hopes to obtain a “multi-purpose service dog” through the organization. Samantha says, “Kyle is a perfect five year old,” but the service dog will be able to give him a sense of independence as well as confidence. The service dog will be trained to indicate an oncoming seizure prior to it occurring and alert a family member. It will be a wonderful asset for Kyle on his journey. It will cost 4-Paws for Ability $22,000 to place a multi-purpose dog with Kyle. Kyle’s family has committed to raising $14,000 for the organization on Kyle’s behalf.  
    Also when Kyle receives his multi-purpose dog, the 4-Paws organization requires the family to participate in 10 day- 2 week training in Xenia, Ohio. During the training period, the organization requires the McFarland family to stay in the area at a local hotel that the McFarland’s will have to pay for themselves. The canine must have insurance and proper medical visits that the McFarland’s must furnish as well. Therefore, a bank account will be set up at City National in Ripley, WV. All inquires regarding direct deposits to the bank account will go through personal banker Sarah McVay-Freeland.
    Page 2 of 2 - On August 16, 2014 at the Sycamore Community Building, there will be a “Team Kyle Fun Day,” beginning at 10 a.m. At noon, there will be a cornhole and horseshoe tournament. Those wishing to sign up with teams must pay $5 per team. There will be kid-friendly activities and you are welcome to bring a covered dish. Entertainment will be provided for the event. This day is meant for Kyle to enjoy and be worry-free.
    Samantha also stated that every year there will be an ATV ride conducted. In efforts to give back to the community, donations received from the ATV ride will be divided equally between a child in need in Jackson County, a child seeking a 4-Paws for Ability dog and Kyle’s dog account.
    Any form of donation your able to give to Kyle McFarland will be greatly appreciated, even if its a donation of keeping him in your prayers during his journey. “God bless everyone and thank you,” said Samantha McFarland.

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