When veteran Rachel Leonard and her husband John visited ECAD and met Service Dog-in-Training Cam, they both knew immediately that a Service Dog would help Rachel gain back her independence.
Meet ECAD’s Project Heal Client Rachel Leonard
My name is Rachel Leonard and I am 31 years old. I used to be a very active person. I was an academic athlete in high school until I graduated in 2004. I loved to run. I would rather run than walk or drive. I was financially unable to go to college at the time, so I entered the work force. At one point, I held up to three jobs. I realized that even though I was working hard, I was going nowhere. I wanted to go to college and I wanted a career. In 2011, I joined the United States Navy. I was so excited about my future — I was going to be a welder. Unfortunately, I was injured while I was in the Navy and I had to leave. The injury was severe enough that I have not been able to work. Since the initial injury, my leg has continued to worsen. I have had to have multiple surgeries in an attempt to fix it; none of them have been completely successful. I now have severe nerve damage in my left leg that has been slowly spreading since the initial injury. Basically, I have been in excruciating pain for over six years. There is no alternative expect to have my leg amputated.
One of the unfortunate side effects of the continuous pain has been the onset of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), on top of the actual injury. Now, I live in a world where simple things are difficult or impossible for me to do by myself. I also have a hard time sleeping at night between the pain and the nightmares from PTSD. I will wake up in the morning covered in bruises and cuts because I had been thrashing around while I was asleep.
Fortunately, my husband, John, is very supportive of me and for me. However, I want to function on my own. I want to be able to go to the store and buy a bag of apples without having to bring John with me because of the pain. In effect, my world has come to a complete stop. I know that with the help of a Service Dog, I will be able to get back to living a more normal life.
Thank you for your generous support to help ECAD educate a Service Dog for Rachel.
Donations are 100% tax-deductible as allowable by law. If your employer has a Matching Gift program,
please complete the form and mail it to ECAD, P.O. Box 831, Torrington, CT 06790.