Jedi the Dog Helps His Little 'Master' Luke Battle Type 1 Diabetes

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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

For 7-year-old Luke Nuttall, his dog Jedi is his real-life guardian.

Luke has been battling Type 1 diabetes -- an autoimmune disease with no cure. The glucose in his blood can quickly spike high or fall low and this is especially dangerous when Luke is asleep, but Jedi can smell these changes.

One night, the entire Nutall family was asleep in their California home and the machinery that monitors Luke's blood sugar levels were also quiet. But Jedi knew something was wrong. Luke's mom, Dorrie, wrote about the incident on Facebook.

"Jedi jumped off the bed, then back on again, though I felt him do this I didn't wake up," Dorrie wrote. "Then Jedi laid on me. I woke up...without Jedi I would have had no idea that he was dropping out of a safe range."

In over four and a half years, Luke has never woken up on his own to notice low blood sugar, which is why he relies on his parents to wake up three times a night, and on Jedi for the alerts, which often come before his monitor's.

Dorrie started her Facebook page "Saving Luke - Luke and Jedi - Fighting Type 1 Diabetes Together" in 2012 to share their story. The mom also wants to inform parents of the warning signs linked to Type 1 diabetes in children which include: frequent urination, increased thirst and appetite, extreme fatigue, blurry vision and weight loss. You can learn more about the symptoms here.

As many as 1 in 20 young Type 1 diabetes patients die in their sleep - a phenomenon known as "dead in bed syndrome."

"It's in those moments when our guards are down, when we are just living life, when we let our minds drift from diabetes, that (the disease) has the upper hand-and things can get scary very fast," Dorrie wrote in her Facebook post. "But thankfully we have Jedi."