Arkansas School Refuses to Pay for Epileptic Boy's Service Dog Fees
An Arkansas school is refusing to pay for a service dog that detects seizures in a seven-year-old boy with epilepsy. The district claims that Zachary Sorrell’s dog Majesty is not necessary to his education and will not pay the $125 per week fee needed for the dog’s handler.
Zachary’s mother, who has been footing the bill since last August, joined Fox and Friends this morning.
Sorrell said the dog’s sole purpose is to alert others before Zachary has a seizure. Thanks to Majesty, her son doesn’t have to take as much medication.
“Prior to having Majesty, Zachary would pass out in a seizure on the floor. He might hit his head, have a concussion. He would go by ambulance 30, 40 miles from the school to the children’s hospital where we would get him care, and during that time you don’t know if he’s going to have brain damage or stop breathing,” Michelle Sorrell’s said.
Dr. Tony Thurman, superintendent for Cabot School District, said in a statement: “The most important aspect of this entire issue is the fact that the child can be provided with an education with or without the service animal. We have several students that deal with much the same medical issue and we provide a registered nurse in every school to support the health needs of all students.”
Sorrell noted that it’s crucial for Zachary and Majesty to be together in the classroom. She said at church and daycare, Majesty doesn’t require handler and is asking for the teacher to take on a similar responsibility.
“Majesty is essential to Zachary’s life,” Sorrell said. “She does a job that nobody can do. I’m Zachary’s mother and I can’t know when a seizure’s coming. The teacher doesn’t know, the doctor doesn’t know.”