Family in therapy dog appeal for blind son

Kearyn Adamson is 4 and suffers from a range of conditions but the main line of the story is the family are raising money for him to get a therapy dog. Picture; Ian Rutherford.
Kearyn Adamson is 4 and suffers from a range of conditions but the main line of the story is the family are raising money for him to get a therapy dog. Picture; Ian Rutherford.
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He’s a plucky four-year-old who enjoys trips to the park and playing with his big brother.

But little Kearyn Adamson is fighting a series of complicated health issues and could become blind at any moment.

Kearyn is pictured with his dad, Kenneth, mum, Jodi and brother Khaidyn. Picture; Ian Rutherford.

Kearyn is pictured with his dad, Kenneth, mum, Jodi and brother Khaidyn. Picture; Ian Rutherford.

Knowing his time with sight is limited, his parents, Jodi and Kenneth, are determined to grant their son his dream and are asking the community for help to buy a specially trained therapy dog they believe he desperately needs.

The youngster, from Loanhead, was born with glucoma, Noonan syndrome and a genetic condition known as Neurofibromatosis – which means tumours can grow at nerve endings anywhere in his body.

As well as slowly losing his sight, brave Kearyn is battling a tumour on his right eye optic pathway, and has been forced to undergo a series of intense operations.

The family has already started receiving support from the RNIB for when the time comes that Kearyn does go blind, and within a matter of months, the youngster will begin his braille training.

Speaking of the difficulties her family faces on a daily basis, Jodi, 30, said: “Kearyn also has autism, as well as his other conditions, so some days it isn’t easy.

“Trying to explain things to him can be tough, and if his routine is changed even slightly it can often lead to meltdowns, where he starts headbutting the floor, walls and punching himself.

“He’s a little fighter but we don’t know how much longer he has left with his sight.

“We know the older he gets, the worse things will become so we just take one day at a time.”

Jodi said she knew something was wrong as soon as Kearyn, known to friends as “Kicky”, was born.

“The midwives knew as soon as he was born something wasn’t quite right,” she said.

“It was a shock for us. You don’t really think about anything going wrong when you are pregnant – he was our second child.”

Within weeks, Kearyn was undergoing surgery, which involved having parts of his eyes scraped to make his vision clearer.

Ever since, he has been forced to take eye drops and Jodi said his lack of sight often frustrates him.

Kearyn is a pupil at Paradykes Nursery, in Loanhead, and has secured a place at Saltersgate School, in Dalkeith.

She added: “Kearyn’s life can be really difficult, but despite that, he is a little charmer,

“As he can’t see very clearly, he often runs into things and falls over.

“Sometimes he lashes out at his brother when they are playing.

“It took him until he was around two-and-a-half to learn to walk, and even now he still walks a bit like a baby.

“Just last year, he was hospitalised after he got chicken pox for a third time. We have to be really careful.

“We can’t change anything around in the house because he likes things to stay the same.

“That’s why we think a therapy dog would be good for him, a companion he could rely on for constant support.

“When he is around dogs, he always seems more relaxed.”

In his spare time, Kearyn enjoys playing with his toys and going to the park with his mum, dad and older brother Khaidyn, six, but Jodi believes a therapy dog would make a huge difference his life.

She said: “It’s amazing the difference in Kearyn when he is near a dog.

“I think he finds them very calming. His grandad has one and if he takes a tantrum, he calms down if the dog is there.

“He also seems to sleep better and he knows to be gentle with it.

“I could really see it helping us with our daily routine.”

The family is hoping to raise £6,000 to cover all costs of buying the pet from Therapy Animals, based in Cheshire.

The small organisation provides specially trained dogs for children with autism and other neuro developmental conditions.

It also provides a range of other therapy pets. According to the business, animal assisted therapy is a recognised and growing therapeutic technique that facilitates the counselling process.

Jodi said: “The quicker we can get a deposit together, the quicker we can reserve a dog for Kearyn.

“Six thousand pounds would cover all of our costs, from the deposit, travelling down to see the dog, its training, bringing it home and buying all the things we need for it.

“The dogs need to be trained for a few months after they’ve been reserved so the quicker we can organise it, the better.

“Kearyn loves dogs and we already know he’d like to call it ‘Sauce’.

“We just hope we can get the money together while Kearyn still has his sight and can see his new pet.”

Catherine Preston, co-owner of Therapy Dogs, said: “Therapy dogs provide emotional support for children.

“They help to reduce anxiety, boost confidence and offer constant companionship. They are trained in a range of ways to help children deal with meltdowns and motivate them to engage with others.

“Kearyn is a lovely boy and we hope to be able to help him soon.”

To donate to Kearyn’s therapy dog fund, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/teamkickykickys-thearpy-dog

courtney.cameron@jpress.co.uk