Brain-Injured Southwest Florida Girl Receives Service Dog

Posted on December 17, 2012

In 2007 a woman drove her car through a red light and smashed into the car of a mother taking her six-year-old daughter to a birthday party. Police reports say the woman who was responsible for the accident was going 55 miles per hour at the time of the impact. The little girl suffered a traumatic brain injury — and five years later, she still cannot walk, talk, feed herself, or do any of the things that other children her age take for granted.

Personal injury attorney Eddie Farah has seen the struggles a family can go through after a loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Medical and rehabilitation costs can soar, and the stresses of caring for a TBI victim can extract a heavy toll on any family.

The parents have seemingly tried everything to help their daughter — from stem cell therapy to divine intervention. The mother and daughter traveled to Lourdes, France in 2010, where the little girl was immersed in the baths of the famous site known for its allegedly miraculous cures.

Recently, PAWS Assistance Dogs — an organization that trains dogs to assist people with neurological, developmental, or physical disabilities — presented the girl’s family with a Golden Retriever companion dog to assist in tasks both small and large. The tasks can be as simple as bringing the girl a stuffed toy she may want, to the life-saving job of retrieving a crash kit if she goes into a seizure. Additionally, the dog will provide much needed companionship for the paralyzed, brain-injured child.

Unfortunately, the now 11-year-old girl could not be at the presentation because she was in St. Petersburg undergoing her third operation in three weeks after a shunt in her brain failed. However, she met the dog earlier in the year, and by all accounts it was a good fit.

Her father told Wink News, “You could tell right away it was just meant to be.”

Eddie Farah applauds the good work organizations like PAWS Assistance Dogs are doing to help those with debilitating injuries regain some form of independence. If you have any questions about PAWS or wish to support their work, please go to

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