Millbrook, AL (WSFA) - A Millbrook woman is raising money for a service dog 16 months after suffering an aneurysm.
We first told you about Melissa Massey last year. On Aug. 6, 2017, at 34 weeks pregnant with her second child, the 28-year-old had an aortic aneurysm due to a gene mutation that runs in her family.
“The only thing they can figure is I went into preeclampsia and so it ended up bursting my aorta. It was ascending and descending down into my left renal artery. After that it caused kidney failure, liver failure, and acute heart failure," said Melissa Massey.
Massey’s scar now reminds her of a battle she won.
“This one scar is actually from the open heart surgery. There was four of them," said Massey. “It is definitely a miracle. God saved me for a reason."
While rehab got her to the point where she can walk again and do some daily tasks she still faces many challenges due to extensive nerve damage.
“There are places on my left side I just don’t feel all day long. There are two or three times throughout the day it gets totally debilitating. My entire left side will end up going numb. No muscle function. It obstructs my vision. It is very scary most of the time I will stay home with my husband or mother just simply because I am fearful of the unknown," said Massey.
Massey’s husband said because of this he has one constant concern when it comes to his wife.
“When she is at home alone or in public I worry every day, ‘Has she fallen?’" said Donald Massey.
Desiring independence to live a more normal life without many of the fears her condition has caused Massey to raise funds for a service dog.
“As the dog realizes that that is what is happening, its job is to get me to safe place, get me to a seat, or ease me to the ground,” said Melissa Massey.
In addition to alerting someone if she falls, the dog would also be able to place a boarder between Massey and a crowd of people, and wake her during night terrors.
“Having that dog here would be life changing,” said Massey.
Massey has already been approved for a service dog. The goal now is to raise $20,000 needed to get the service dog.
Her family is hopeful and confident the community will rally support around them like they did before in order to make this step in her journey a reality.
Massey has set up a GoFundMe page to raise the money. If you would like to donate click here.