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Amazing dog Wadsley changes life of woman who could drown having a shower

Brogan's life has been transformed thanks to her new dog. Credit: Liverpool Echo

A 24-year-old woman who went years without being able to shower unsupervised has had her life transformed thanks to a dog.

Brogan Evans was diagnosed with severe epilepsy when she was 17 and was left “depressed as hell” due to her condition.

Her ailment began with partial seizures, which shut down one side of her brain and caused her right arm or right leg to twitch.

Brogan’s condition gradually got worse and she started to suffer from generalised seizures which caused symptoms in her whole body. Brogan, from Birkenhead, said:

At one point, I was having up to 14 seizures a day and was having accidents.

“One time I was washing up, we had porcelain plates and I had a seizure. The plate broke and cut my face and I had to have 20 stitches. I have a scar, but you can hardly see it, as the facial surgeon did an amazing job.

“There was also the time I had a kettle in my hand and had a seizure. I poured boiling water all over myself.”

– Brogan Evans
Brogan's Labrador is trained to detect when she's having a seizure. Credit: Liverpool Echo

Due to her condition, Brogan was unable to have a bath due to the possibility of her drowning.

She was also not able to shower unsupervised as that too became a drowning hazard when she blocked the plug with her shoulder during one episode.

However, Brogan’s life changed when she got her seizure alert dog, Wadsley.

She said:

My life before Wadsley was miserable, and I was depressed as hell. I was on medication, but it wasn’t working, nothing was working.

“I knew what life was like before and I wanted that back.

“I couldn’t do anything. I couldn’t have a bath or a shower in case I had a seizure and drowned or fell and banged my head.

“I couldn’t cook or leave the house, so many things that people take for granted I wasn’t allowed to do.”

– Brogan Evans
Credit: Liverpool Echo

Brogan applied to Support Dogs, a charity that provides, trains and supports specialist assistance dogs, when she was 20.

However, due to huge demand, the programme was closed and she didn’t hear anything for two years.

After applying to a number of charities, Brogan was about to give up on her chance of getting a seizure alert dog. However, that week she received a phone call from Support Dogs saying they had a Labrador who could be trained to identify when Brogan was about to have a seizure via his sense of smell.

The amazing dog can give Brogan a 48-and-a-half minute warning before she has an episode.

This allows her to either get home or get to a safe place quickly before she has a seizure, whether that is a disability toilet or changing room. Her new-found independence, thanks to Wadsley, allows Brogan to play rugby with the consent of her GP.

She said:

Wadsley can still detect a seizure, even though he can’t see me. “Games of rugby are 40 minutes each half so at half-time I run over to his tent and he lets me know if I’m OK or if I’m going to have a seizure - if the latter, I get in the tent with him and have the seizure.

“Having Wadsley has made a massive difference to my confidence levels, people are always coming up to me and talking about him.

“All the things I couldn’t do before, I can quite happily do now.

“My mum bought me a bath bomb for Christmas because I could have my first bath.

“The number of serious seizures has gone down – partly because I’m less stressed and because I’m able to go out and live my life.”

– Brogan Evans