Help needed to fund PTSD service dog for survivor of violent crime

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HUTCHINSON, Kan. (KAKE) -

"An animal that could change my everyday, not just that moment, but my life." 

A Hutchinson woman is praying for a little four-legged help to regain some of the independence she lost four years ago.  But, red tape is getting in her way.

"With the PTSD I have trouble being alone," Alisha McGuire said.  "I panic.  I have a lot of flashbacks and nightmares."

Alisha is the survivor of a violent crime.  Four years ago in their North Carolina home, her husband shot a friend, then her - twice - before taking his own life.

"That day changed my life," she said.

Now, she lives with the physical as well as the mental reminders of what happened, everyday. 

"I do get nervous.  People scare me now," she said.  "Physically, I have trouble getting up and down.  My blood pressure gets really high, so I do fall a lot." 

And she struggles with the damage from a traumatic brain injury caused by oxygen loss when two bullet holes in her leg destroyed her femoral artery.  Then there's the lingering damage in her leg, which doctors are still talking about amputating.

A woman with a will to take care of herself, Alisha's family say she often pushes a little too hard.  Earlier this week she ended up in the E.R. after trying to walk to the store on her own.

"I didn't realize that I was pushing too hard.  I mean, I felt it, but I just wanted to do it by myself," she explained.

While her family sits at her side in her Hutchinson home ready to help however needed, Alisha's doctors say a PTSD service dog would help her live a better life on her own.

She's worked hard at figuring out the requirements and filling out the applications despite the lingering brain damage from her injuries that makes reading difficult.

"I was embarrassed at first and nervous to even ask," she said. 

That search led her to Midwest Battle Buddies.  The group wants to help but there's a slight problem.  As a charity, they're only set up to help veterans, which Alisha is not.  

While their trainer is ready to train a dog for Alisha, she still has to find the money to pay for it, leaving her asking others to help.

"That would be... that would be... amazing," she said.  

Midwest Battle Buddies tells KAKE News it is working to find ways to cut the $10,000 price tag in half and hopes to get a dog donated for Alisha as well.  Meanwhile, Alisha and her family have set up a GoFundMe account to raise the rest of the money.