How Service Dog Is Helping 7-Year-Old with Her Sleepless Nightmare

Playing Girl Suffering from Sleep Disorder Seeks Help

The Doctors meet 7-year-old Madison whose sleep apnea, asthma and narcolepsy are being helped by her service dog Hershey.

Madison's mom Senetra tells us that it was discovered that she had enlarged adenoids when she was 18 months old. She says a sleep study was conducted on her daughter, and it discovered that she stopped breathing more than 15 times an hour. Madison was diagnosed with sleep apnea and her mom explains that doctors told her it could be corrected with the removal of her adenoids and her tonsils. She underwent the surgery when she was 3 years old, but last year her mom noticed some red flags. Senetra says her daughter has begun snoring very loud and has fallen asleep during class multiple times.

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Madison tells us that she has fallen asleep in a variety of places including the library, her closest, the shower and on the toilet. Additionally, Senetra says Madison also sleepwalks.

A second sleep study was conducted, and her mom says Madison is still dealing with sleep apnea and partial narcolepsy. Her mom says she was told that a CPAP machine would not be a good idea due to Madison's sleepwalking as it could be a hazard.

"My worst nightmare is that she gasps for air [at night] and she can't get it. I'm always getting up 3 or 4 times to go kiss her and say I love her because I don't know if this is the last time," Senetra says.

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The family is now using a service dog to help with Madison's sleep disorders.

Sleep specialist Dr. Raj Dasgupta joins The Doctors and Senetra to further discuss Madison's sleeping issues. Dr. Raj feels that Madison could benefit from the use of a CPAP and shares that there are new and innovative options that might work for her. He also suggests that one way Madison's service dog could be helpful is alerting Madison when she pulls off her CPAP mask off at night.

The Doctors are happy to surprise Madison with a 2-year subscription to BarkBox along with a donation for dog service training for Hershey.