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  • Joe Sims

Beth and Otis

Hello you lovely bunch, 

We hope you’re all getting a bit of a break, celebrating in whatever way you do and spending some time with the ones you love. We’re sending love to anyone who is missing someone or not perhaps having the festive time they expected. Please all know you have 500 friends here who care about you.

And perhaps Santa has delivered some gifts?? Which reminds us of the age-old saying that “a dog is for life, not just for Christmas”. And this week’s nomination is for a very special dog, Otis, who is being trained up to support the wonderful Beth. Massive thanks to Michelle for this lovely nomination and we are thrilled to be able to help! Can’t wait to hear how Otis gets on!

Hoping everyone has a good week!

With all our festive love,

Your admins!!


Here’s Michelle’s nomination and Beth’s go fund me page! 

Hello lovely 500 reasons team

I would like to nominate Beth O’Brien. Beth is one of the most positive people I know, even though she has been through the mill over the last few years. She has suffered from postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome most of her life and Covid worsened it massively, and she has suffered with Long Covid. She is currently working with a team who are training Otis, her future support dog. It is amazing watching his progress and he is already alerting her to her raised heart rate before she knows about it. The waiting list from the one charity that can help is 6 years, so she is trying to raise the money herself. With help from family and savings she is 2/3 of the way there but it is a significant cost, with training of Otis taking 2 years, so she is trying to raise money to help with the final push. She has a Go Fund Me page and I would love it if we could give her a good boost. She really has had a challenging time for a number of reasons and always comes out with a smile. 

Her initial appeal is here:

“I’m fundraising for a cardiac alert and response dog to help me live a better, safer life with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome and assorted dysautonomia, which was significantly worsened by Covid. 

Why a dog? Very well trained and clever dogs can smell the hormone changes which precipitate the tachycardia (dangerous and uncomfortably fast heart beat), and alert me before I experience symptoms like syncope (blacking out). He is also trained to respond by guiding me to an exit or safe place, or a safe person, or fetching medications or electrolytes, providing deep pressure therapy to slow the heart (using his weight on the blood vessels and vagus nerve to push the blood back to the heart and re regulate the autonomic nervous system), and several other tasks. It takes 2 years and a lot of money for assistance dogs to be individually and highly trained, so I’m fundraising for the final tranche. Thank you so much to everyone who has shared and donated!

Love, Beth and Otis”

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