WEBSTER GROVES, MO - Jake Koelling is one of the 3.4 million people in the United States living with active epilepsy. He was diagnosed at 11-years-old but just three months ago experienced a severe seizure that almost took his life.
"He stopped seizing, and he turned gray and his lips turned blue. I just thought, you know, I thought that was it," said Heather Koelling, Jake's mom and co-founder of Points for Paws.
The road to recovery was not pretty and certainly not easy, but Jake and Heather decided to change the narrative of his story. He plays basketball for Webster Groves High School. The school began fundraising during games to raise money to help purchase a seizure response dog for Jake.
"These dogs, seizure response dogs, can across the board be trained to alert and get help when someone is having a seizure," said Heather Koelling.
The money for Jake's service dog was raised in just three weeks. Jake and Reine, the name of the service lab, will be united once her training is complete.
"Once she gets here I know that I'm going to have all sorts of more freedom that I should be able to have as a 16-year-old. I'll be able to stay the night at my friend’s house, go to camps, go off to college. Just do things I should be able to do and not have my mom worrying about me," said Jake Koelling.
Now that Jake is taken care of, the Points for Paws fundraiser will continue throughout the season to help provide the same resource for other children in need.
They are currently raising money for Gabby, an epileptic teen who lives in Mississippi, to help pay the remaining balance for her service dog, Kizzy.
You can find out more about Jake's story on the More to Learn Facebook page. You can make donations to the cause through Venmo at @pointsforpaws.