Recently a former MK contacted me to tell me about his struggle with traumatic experiences in his past, and his goal to get a psychiatric service dog to help with his symptoms of PTSD. There is an opportunity to help if anyone is so inclined.
Patrick Murphy led a whirlwind life while he was growing up. His parents were with YWAM (Youth With a Mission). Beginning when he was in grade school, he lived in Haiti, Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia. This doesn’t count time spent living in Hawaii while in training. In Penang, Malaysia, Patrick went to a boarding school called Dalat.
Dalat was originally a Christian and Missionary Alliance boarding school. In 1999 C&MA decided to close the school and another group took it on, turning it into an independent school that serves the ex-pat business community in Penang. Dalat shares a history of reported abuse along with other Alliance boarding schools such as Mamou Alliance Academy, which was featured in the documentary “All God’s Children”, Bongolo School in Gabon, and Zamboanga School in the Philippines.
While living in Indonesia as a young teen Patrick survived several near kidnappings and was mixed up in transporting drugs for a local mafia, during which he witnessed the killing of a close friend. He was living on the island of Lombok In January of 2000 when thousands of Muslims rampaged through the towns, wielding machetes and torching Christian churches. Patrick and his family had to flee the country. A few days after the riots Patrick and his sisters were sent back to Penang to attend Dalat.
Patrick did not do well at boarding school, and was assaulted by a teacher, so his parents sent him back to the States to live with an aunt in New York until the whole family returned a year and a half later. The life-threatening violence and fear that Patrick experienced growing up had a lasting effect on him.
Patrick is now a husband and father, and still suffers the crippling effects of PTSD. He experiences flashbacks, panic attacks and sudden speech impairment. He and his wife heard about how beneficial a psychiatric service dog can be for people in his situation. A psychiatric service dog is different from a regular service dog, and can be very expensive to raise and train from a qualified breeder. Health insurance does not cover these costs, and it is difficult to find help if you are not a veteran.
Here are Patrick’s own words “For those unfamiliar with the process of getting and training a service dog, it is a very expensive journey to pursue and health insurance does not cover any of the costs, despite the fact one must legally qualify in order to have one. Many who qualify for psychiatric service dogs struggle to get one because there are no resources for those who are not veterans. It is expensive to adopt a service dog candidate from a breeder with a proven track record and even more expensive to pay for the 2 years of training it takes to fully train a service dog. We knew this when we first embarked on this journey last year and have trusted that God would provide, as he has always has.
With the coming news of a puppy being born in May, we are reaching out to ask for support. While it is humbling to do so, we truly believe this is the right path to take to for me and for my family. We are hoping to raise $3400, which is a little over half of the costs of adopting a service dog candidate puppy and 2 years of training.
Cost of adopting our service dog candidate puppy: $2500.
Cost of service dog training over the first 2 years: $4000
We are hoping to raise this support by June 25th. Would you be willing to bless us with your support?”
Patrick has a fundraising page at http://www.gofundme.com/servicedog4patrick. You can find a lot more details there about the costs of the dog, plus a link to his family blog and a way to contact him. He explains the many ways a psychiatric service dog can help in a panic situation. I actually think I need one to ride with me on elevators! Can you relate to Patrick’s story? Feel free to comment and ask questions here.