Fundraiser Launched for Area Girl in Need of Service Animal
At the young age of 13, Josalynn Ward has already witnessed extreme domestic violence.
As a result, she has suffered serious consequences, according to Bea, her mother.
“We had to move every 15 to 30 days between different safe houses in Colorado until a judge finally allowed us to move out of state,” Bea told exploreClarion.com.
Although Bea brought Josalynn and her younger sister to Oil City where they had a fresh start, their struggles weren’t over.
When Josalynn was just ten years old, she began seeing and hearing things that weren’t real and developed constant paranoia.
That was the beginning of what has turned into a long-term battle.
Josalynn has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with psychosis, major depressive disorder with psychosis, and high functioning anxiety.
According to Bea, the doctors are still looking at other possible diagnoses.
“I can’t even say how many inpatient admissions she’s had, and she has been in therapy almost every day since it started,” Bea said.
She had been attending school in Oil City, but due to spending so much time out of school at appointments and therapy, she was falling behind. Bea decided to switch her over to cyber school, so she wouldn’t fall even further behind.
“We’ve just been trying to work with her and build her back up,” Bea noted.
The situation has also left Bea unable to work, as Josalynn currently needs her at home.
“Every time I’ve tried to go back, she has freaked out and ended up back in inpatient treatment, and then we have to start all over again.”
Recently, Josalynn’s trauma therapist recommended a service animal to help her when her PTSD is triggered or when she begins losing touch with reality.
As Bea was researching the steps to get a service animal, she discovered a program out of Washington County, Pa., called K9s for Kids, where they can get a service dog, and cover all the training costs, for $6,000.00.
“That $6,000.00 will cover everything now and the future as far as training.”
Bea has created a GoFundMe campaign to cover the initial cost of the dog and associated expenses that include transportation back and forth to Washington County weekly for training.
“I’m just trying to give her some kind of life, help her move forward, and give her some kind of childhood. Life in hospitals and therapy is just no kind of life for a child.”
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