A new best friend is bringing comfort to a Kettering athlete recovering from a debilitating brain injury.
Oakwood High School students raised money to purchase a service dog for Ahmad Doucet. The Kettering Fairmont senior suffered a stroke during wrestling practice in 2015, putting him in a coma and ultimately leading to Locked-In Syndrome, a condition that took away the teen’s motor function in everything except his eyes.
Doucet became the latest person to benefit from Oakwood’s Pups for People organization.
Lily Eifert, Oakwood Sophomore and Pups for People club president said Doucet is a family friend and was an obvious choice for the club.
“When we were thinking of who we were going to raise the service dog for, I was like, He’s perfect,'” said Eifert.
The Pups for People group started with seven girls in 2016, as part of a Destination Imagination challenge. In its initial project, the students raised $20,000 to help buy a service dog for classmate Ally Moran, who has spina bifida. Moran and her new companion are currently training.
Pups for People decided to continue its mission into the 2016-2017 school year. The participants held several fundraisers, including a bake sale and disability awareness event to collect more than $3,000.
The funds, combined leftover revenue from last year, were enough to buy Doucet a specially trained companion dog. Doucet and his family picked the small labradoodle on Thursday.
Oakwood sophomore and Pups for People member Abbie Stone said, “Seeing that family get their dog and being able to give it love, and that dog being able to family back, was a really warm (feeling) and great.”
“They’ll always have that dog to help them out,” fellow sophomore and club member Beth DeLon said. “(It can) help with their anxiety, help them really with anything… it’s really rewarding.”
The family is still choosing a name for the new furry friend.
To learn more about Pups for People, including more about donations and applications, click here.