New labrador friend Cilla could prove a lifesaver for Lachlan, 11

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
Port Kennedy boy Lachlan Wright, 11, and his mother Elisha Wright training new their new therapy dog Cilla to detect oncoming seizures.
Camera IconPort Kennedy boy Lachlan Wright, 11, and his mother Elisha Wright training new their new therapy dog Cilla to detect oncoming seizures. Credit: Chloe Fraser

The friendship and trust formed between Port Kennedy’s Lachlan Wright and his new therapy dog Cilla could save his life.

The 11-year-old has a rare chromosomal condition, micro-deletion syndrome, which includes autism, intellectual disability and an extreme form of epilepsy.

At any time, Lachlan could suffer an uncontrollable and often life-threatening seizure. His independence is limited and he needs monitoring 24/7.

His mum Elisha Wright said his family were constantly worried about Lachlan’s seizures and what could happen if a family member was not nearby. But they will soon be able to rest easy thanks to a new friend. Lachlan met his new companion in Rockingham on Sunday at an event to thank the community and sporting groups who raised $40,000 to pay for the service dog. “I’m amazed at how the community came together to help us out,” Mrs Wright said.

“The most important thing at the end of the day is that we can try to give Lachlan his independence back.”

Melbourne-based Dogs For Life is helping train labrador Cilla to react to signs of Lachlan’s seizures.

“She will shake her head if she starts to recognise some sort of seizure process and if he does have a seizure, she’ll alert us by barking,” Mrs Wright said.

“Sometimes he will an episode in the middle of the night where he stops breathing. We could sleep through one of those because it’s silent, but with proper training (Cilla) will be able to detect it - even if she’s asleep.”

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails