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Teen Who Was Told She'd Never Walk Defies All Odds Thanks To Great Dane

Teen Who Was Told She'd Never Walk Defies All Odds Thanks To Great Dane

When Bella Burton was diagnosed with Morquio syndrome at birth - a rare disease that wastes away muscle tissue - it was presumed she would never be able to walk.

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But in a recent Channel 5 documentary titled Dogs With Extraordinary Jobs, the 13-year-old revealed that she has been able to walk, swim and ride a bike all thanks to the help of her extraordinary Great Dane, George.

Morquio syndrome is a debilitating disease which can severely limit a sufferer's mobility.

In the show, Bella's mother explained how her daughter already relied on crutches by the age of ten, so was therefore astounded when the young girl started walking.

After just six months with George, Bella recalls her legs starting to support her own weight again.

"My leg muscles got really weak and it was hard to walk, but once I got George it kind of forced me to walk,' she explained.

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Credit: Channel 5
Credit: Channel 5

When Bella was first introduced to the dog, she was volunteering at the Service Dog Project in Ipswich, Massachusetts. She never believed that she would ever be paired up with her own service dog.

"When I started to volunteer at the service dog it was just fun because I got to spend time with all of my favourite animals all of the time,'' she says.

The teenager recalls the dogs running away from her, something she puts down to the high pitched tone in her voice.

It wasn't long, however, before George warmed to the girl and eventually grew very attached.

"At first he started to run off and then slowly after a while he just stayed. And then I would be brushing him out and he wouldn't let me leave," recounts Bella.

"Like he'd either block the door or try to sit on my lap so that I couldn't leave."

As the pair grew closer, the family started bringing the dog home for weekends and then eventually, adopted him into the family.



Credit: Channel 5
Credit: Channel 5

It wasn't without a few reservations however, as mum Rachel recalls, George was 130lbs when they took him in, over three times the size of Bella who weighed just 40.

Nevertheless, it wasn't long before they realised quite what a positive impact George was having on their daughter's life.

"George knew what Bella needed and right when she needed it. If she needed to walk slower, George would slow down so that they could walk right side-by-side," explained Rachel.

Even the doctors were bawled over by the improvements to not just Bella's physical health but mental health too.

And with for good reason, the 13-year-old is now walking, riding a bicycle and swimming.

Anyone else feeling a bit teary?!

Featured Image Credit: Channel 5

Topics: Entertainment, Dog, Real, TV Entertainment, Documentary

Nicole Cherruault

Nicole is a freelance write for Pretty52. Since graduating from The University of Edinburgh she has worked for Phoenix Magazine and British Vogue.

 

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