Diabetic Alert Dog: Saving Alex's Life - FOX 35 News Orlando

Diabetic Alert Dog: Saving Alex's Life

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Lotus and Alex Flores met just a few days ago, but already they're inseparable.

"I almost feel like those two were made for each other," says Alex's mom Jovana Flores.

That's important because Lotus will be spending every moment by Alex's side. Two years ago Alex was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. If his blood sugar gets too low, he can go into a comma, or worse.

"It was kind of scary," Alex recalls. "Through the night it's just thinking, am I going to wake up tomorrow? Am I going to see the sunrise tomorrow?"

Alex was put on an insulin pump and monitor, but his mom still had to check on him around the clock.

"I've done my fair share of sleeping through nighttime checks and it's always that morning when you wake up and say is this the day?" Jovana says. "Did I miss it? You run down the hallway and you shake your child awake and thank god they're alive."

But now Lotus will be keeping a close eye on Alex's blood sugar levels. He's specially trained to detect if it gets too high or too low, alerting Alex by whining.

"A low scent, the diabetic will put off like an acetone smell," explains James Faulkner, a trainer for Guardian Angels Service Dogs. "For a high scent, the diabetic will put off a sweet or a fruity smell."

And dogs like Lotus have proven their nose knows.

"They're able to catch these fluctuations 20 minutes prior than a meter will pick up on it, which actually allows the diabetic to make the corrections it needs before it gets to that life-threatening point," Faulkner says.

That's peace of mind for mom Jovana.

"This dog will eventually go to college with him," Jovana says. "She will drive with him in the car and she will be the extra mom that he may need."

She'll also be Alex's best friend.

Service dogs like Lotus cost up to $20,000, which is why the non-profit group Guardian Angels Service Dogs is helping fundraise for the Flores family. For more information on how to help the Flores family, visit Jovana's Facebook page.

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