This Service Dog is an Amazing Best Friend for POTS!

Lexi New’s Bassett Hound mix Izzy is truly unique, and Lexi credits divine intervention for their meeting. She feels, spiritually, that God wants to help her live life to the fullest.

Lexi, who is majoring in science, lives in a college dorm and has an on-campus job. She also has postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome, or POTS, a rare and serious medical condition, that apparently was triggered by a bout of flu.

Doctors were unable to pinpoint the cause of her symptoms for several years. Lexi finally saw specialists at a world renowned medical facility where she was correctly diagnosed.

POTS is a form of dysautonomia associated with rapid heartbeat and fainting, along with other symptoms that manifest upon standing.

Izzy is trained to sense when Lexi is about faint and nudges her knee. If Lexi ignores her, she lays down and won’t move. That is Lexi’s signal that she has to stop whatever she is doing because she is about to faint. Like other service dogs that can sense the onset of seizures, or sniff out cancer, nobody knows how Izzy knows when Lexi is about to faint.

Izzy also fetches Lexi’s cell phone so she can call for help. Lexi and Izzy have a great partnership, and Lexi loves having her at college because she has peace of mind, feels safe, and is able to be more independent.

(Source: KFVS 12)
Izzy and Lexi make a great team! Source:

Izzy was recently nominated for a national service dog award for her unique skill set and potentially live-saving ability. She is competing in the service dog category of the American Humane Association Hero Dog Award.

Need more of a puppy fix? Yes, of course you do! See these other Patient Worthy stories about service dogs: American Hero Dogs – They’re Not Just for Walking and 5 Crucial Faux “Paws” to Avoid With Service Dogs

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn

Erica Zahn is passionate about raising awareness of rare diseases and disorders and helping people connect with the resources that may ease their journey. Erica has been a caregiver, and is a patient, herself, so she completely relates to the rare disease community--on a deeply personal level.

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