A girl with epilepsy has forged a life-saving bond with her 'best friend' – a pet dog who can predict the onset of a seizure. Millie Webb, 11, has . But her family's pet dog Elmo appears to be able to predict an onset of a 'The doctors are completely amazed at the various seizures she has. Girl who suffers epileptic fits when she laughs forms 'life-saving bond' with dog Elmo Millie Webb, nine, from Cheshire, has refractory epilepsy, which But her family's pet dog Elmo appears to be able to predict an onset of.
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Millie Webb, nine, from Cheshire, has refractory epilepsy, which means medication struggles to control her seizures. But heightened emotions - including happiness - can trigger a fit, of which she has around 50 each day. They can be deadly if left on her own, as a seizure could result in a serious brain injury or could cause her to choke on her own saliva.
Playing with friends, attending birthday parties and even splashing about in the family paddling pool have all triggered fits in the past.
She has now forged a potentially life-saving bond with one-year-old pet dog Elmo who has appeared to predict the onset of a fit before it happens. Millie Webb, nine, has refractory epilepsy, which means medicine struggles to control her seizures.
Heightened emotions can trigger a fit, of which she has around 50 each day. But her family's pet dog Elmo appears to be able to predict an onset of a fit before it happens. Doctors have been left baffled by Millie's 'unique' form of epilepsy as medication doesn't seem to help control the seizures which present themselves in a variety of forms. Father-of-five Stuart Webb, 45, said: When Millie was asleep on the sofa, Elmo suddenly climbed up and began to lick her face. Linda tried to shoo him off but the next they knew she had gone into a fit pictured with her father Stuart, mother Linda and Elmo and her mother, Cookie.
Millie has tried 12 different types of medication over the last five years since symptoms first appeared but none of them had any impact on the number or type of seizures she has.
She has this amazing strength and doesn't let the epilepsy get her down. When Millie was in a paddling pool this summer and had a fit, Elmo ran to the rescue and dragged her out. Epileptic fits are sometimes not controlled with standard medications - known as refractory epilepsy.
About one in three sufferers of the condition will go on to develop it - mostly as adults. Cells in the brain, known as neurons, conduct electrical signals and communicate with each other in the brain using chemical messengers. During a seizure, there are abnormal bursts of neurons firing off electrical impulses, which can cause the brain and body to behave strangely.
The severity of seizures can differ from person to person. Some people simply experience an odd feeling with no loss of awareness, or may have a 'trance-like' state for a few seconds or minutes, while others lose consciousness and have convulsions.
He rushes over to lick her face in a bid to stimulate her and bring her round. It also helps to remove excess saliva produced and prevents her from choking. In June, when Millie was asleep on the sofa, Elmo suddenly climbed up and began to lick her face. Linda tried to shoo him off but the next they knew she had gone into a fit. They have been advised to contact their local training centre but have yet to have any luck. To support Elmo's training visit https: Share this article Share.
Share or comment on this article: They were vibrating and shaking as they were ringing. And a light bulb went off. There were serious concerns from Sesame. It was a conversation over the course of several meetings, winning them over. She may have spoken to someone else about it. What I recall is that we wanted to make sure the shaking was confined to the giggle, so he was only shaking when he was giggling, and then it stopped.
It was a conversation with Janice on how to get the motor to run a little, then a little more, then run full blast. We did some informal research, and no parent thought Elmo was having a seizure. Every licensor does this. I remember one company had to stop production on a Minnie Mouse because her bow had nine polka dots. It was a big payoff, or surprise ending. The vibration is what makes people start laughing along with it. Almost all of us have memories of being tickled or tickling.
I flew the prototype back to show them. That was a critical piece of Tickle Me Elmo. I forced the factory to put batteries in because I wanted it to be a Try Me. That was a relatively new idea. One of my theories when I wrote the program was, most people have an attention span of less than eight seconds. The Tickle Me Elmo would have to get to the punch line in less time than that. Any longer and people walk away. Try Me showed off everything about the toy. It laughs, it escalates, it starts to shake, and you get it right away.
You could experience it at the retail level but it would not wear out the batteries. Engineering had flagged us about using battery life for a toy with sound and a motor. They were concerned about dead batteries at retail if the toy played in its full mode. Once you took it home and pulled the cord out, it would play in the full mode.
While Johnson-Williams worked on getting Elmo to laugh and shake in the right ratio, he would sometimes be interrupted by calls or visits to his office in Half Moon Bay, California from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
He was suspected of being the Unabomber. I was on a plane to San Francisco with a bucket of parts on my way to meet with Mark. I was interrogated at the airport because I had all these wires, batteries, and tapes. They asked me who I was going to see. The FBI basically had 10, people on a list, and one of the ways to get on was to order a bunch of electronic parts. They were trying to find this guy and casting as wide a net as possible. The media picked up on that and turned it into him being the creator of Tickle Me Elmo.
It got to be a little uncomfortable. There were some funny coincidences. He was seen in Utah, supposedly, at the same time I was shooting a toy commercial in Utah. That division of Tyco was considered to be kind of a stepchild. And he basically scolded and berated us. I think he was challenging us, which was his job. The discussion was about who was going to be promoting it.
We showed him Elmo and thought we had something special and wanted to handle the advertising. And then they finally reconsidered. This is around the time Neil Friedman came in [as president of Tyco Preschool]. He had a very keen marketing eye for what the consumer will respond to. Elmo was done by the time Neil came to the company, but he did a remarkable job selling it. It was not done. The packaging still needed to be designed and there was more work to do.
A lot of people became lifetime friends from working on it. I remember waddling into Toy Fair very pregnant at the time. I was presenting it to buyers and having meetings. So the media would go through this tour and wind up at Tyco Preschool, where Elmo was. It was probably one of the first animated plush licenses next to Big Bird. She was kind of a curmudgeon. When she touched Tickle Me Elmo, she smiled, and I knew it was going to be a big deal. Al Roker from the Today show was there, and he loved it.
This was pre-[gastric] surgery, so he was a little chunky then. He laughed and his belly laughed and Elmo laughed. Al was being Al and Elmo was being Elmo. It was a great visual. Neil was at a baseball game when he ran into a buyer from Toys "R" Us. We just got an initial point of sale report and this thing is flying off the shelves. You guys better ramp up. We were monitoring it from the moment it hit shelves.
It wasn't because of running into anyone. We were getting calls from buyers right away. The Today show had aired a segment about the new hot toys. Bryant Gumbel and Katie Couric were sitting there playing with the doll and getting a kick out of it. It was great exposure. Bryant was not considered a warm guy, so for us, it was great. It seemed to humanize him.
He held it the entire time. Ellie was taping her show almost from the start. Rosie would create a kind of game show atmosphere and give her audience products. This was September, and the kids were going back to school. It was all about whether she liked it or not. It was early October. We had sent her son one and then she talked on-air about how he had flushed it down the toilet. Get some red tissue paper. Can we have enough for the whole audience? She eventually brought Neil Friedman out and he did a great job pitching.
Elmo did a great job pitching. As the holiday season began, the media took note of shoppers waiting anxiously outside toy stores in groups resembling "Depression-era bread lines.
Going into September, we were forecasting , pieces. Within a week of Rosie, we were forecasting a million. It was virtually sold out from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas. You line up factories for , I was on the phone with Hong Kong three nights a week. The tools could burn out on high manufacturing runs, so we were figuring out how to build new tools.
The plush was not the limiting factor. The problem is producing the mechanism. We were building new tools every week. It was made for television and they never needed television. The scarcity led to a tsunami of media about toy aisle mayhem.
He started to cry. There were people acting primitive, but that happens every Christmas. Did it make us cringe? It was nothing we promoted, but there was nothing we could do about it. It was just demand. The media kept saying that we planned it, and it was just great marketing.
Nothing of the kind ever happens. The media was doing negative stories, saying it was artificial. Sometimes they want to build up a thing to knock it down. Everyone thought there was a bunch in storage somewhere. Tyco was a public company. No one plans a shortage. You can't just say, okay, we want a million. You need to buy chips and other materials, and that can take 60 days. You have a responsibility to the shareholder. Nothing succeeds in the toy business like shortages.
Neil was so influential in getting us more goods, as much as we could possibly produce. We went from , to shipping a million units. He wanted to put the pedal to the metal, where Tyco as a whole wanted to be more cautious. Big toys have put companies under. Teddy Ruxpin killed Coleco. We air-freighted them in on a regular basis, over and above the goods arriving on water. As Christmas neared, it was clear not everyone who wanted a Tickle Me Elmo was going to get one. A toy phenomenon had become a cultural symbol of how determined shoppers were to land the coveted monster.
In the store, they would be handed a pre-wrapped package so they could slip out of the store without being obstructed. It was a pinch-me moment. The Letterman people called and traded us sweatshirts. Brett Favre called Neil. Some people at Nintendo traded us N64s, which were the other hot toy, for Elmos. The internet was pretty fresh back then. Most people had dial-up.
But there were a few on eBay already. I was riding the train home from New York one night and Stan asked me to go do a radio interview. I get on the phone and did the interview. I look up, and everyone on the train is looking at me.
Can you get me an Elmo? You had to say no sometimes to needy people who would benefit, like charities. You became the gatekeeper for this toy.
We tried to distribute it evenly. It was a halo effect across the entire Sesame line. There was always another Elmo on the shelf to buy. We had T-shirts, books. Mattel was in the process of buying Tyco and merging Tyco Preschool and Fisher-Price together when Elmo was coming out. By the end of , Tickle Me Elmo had taken his place among the most popular toys of the 20th century. I think it took until the following June for Toys "R" Us to honor all of their rainchecks for I'm not going to tell you the number.
We sold well over a million in And we sold many, many more Elmos in In fact, we sold more Elmos in the first quarter than we did for the entire year before.
It may have been the first time a toy did better in year two than year one. It was an exciting time, but Stan gave me a reality check. He wanted to know what we were going to do the next year. The biggest thing I found following the craze was walking into a toy department and seeing people pick up a plush toy and squeezing it to see if it would do anything.
We needed to keep bringing soft toys to life, and that's what we spent a lot of time doing. Ernie was very popular in Europe. There was no Tickle Me Oscar. The toys always had to be true to the character. We sold 4 million Baby Tickle Mes. Every year, they did a new Elmo. Chicken Dance Elmo won a Toy of the Year award. Rock and Roll Elmo was also Greg Hyman. Pogo Elmo got a lukewarm reception. The success spread to the entire license.
As funding for public television deteriorated from the government, the private sector was coming into place through royalties. Now you were seeing the characters on applesauce and snacks. What I would say is that any non-profit is constantly challenged with ways to drive income. Any success story is a big plus.
Owner, Lund and Company: Later, one of us came to the other and wanted to take the concept further into extreme laughter. When he bought it back, we added the slapping on the ground and the rolling over.
It was something we used in a toy called Baby Go Boom—not the same, but an earlier version. Baby Go Boom could basically fall from a standing to seated position, then lay down, then sit back up. And then we realized we could get her to stand back up, and that became Somersault Sara. TMX was really an attempt to recreate how a 3-year-old would laugh when being tickled—rolling on the floor, giggling, having fun. The mechanism was able to translate that. I remember Fisher-Price did a mock-up to show us and we just fell over laughing.
It was a no-brainer. Getting the Elmo skin on was an issue. The mechanism can work fine on its own, but the fur adds friction. Gina Sirard was the genius behind the marketing of keeping the whole thing under wraps.
Retailers would buy it without having seen it. We did ads with Elmo in silhouette. I had been working with Tyco for 25 years and it was the first time they made me sign a non-disclosure agreement. There is satisfaction in seeing people mystified. It was a simple mechanism, but people thought it was a mechanical marvel. One time we had temporarily lost a sample and Fisher-Price was a little upset. We did find it. They wanted everything kept top secret.
There were maybe 20 people in the world who saw it before then. We kept the product a secret until the day we revealed it on Good Morning America.
That was ultimately the inspiration for the packaging. They made a package where you just saw the eyes through a tiny little flap. Most holiday sales started on Black Friday, but this pushed it ahead two months.
We called it the Elmo Effect. People were lined up outside of Toys "R" Us and put 10 in a cart to sell on eBay. It was like getting election results. You get the East Coast, and then West coast numbers pop up. The toy industry was in the doldrums that year. All of a sudden people got excited to go to big box stores in September and it turned out to be a good year. Everyone benefited from TMX Elmo.
I suspect the appeal was more for adults who had grown up with Tickle Me Elmo and now had kids of their own.
Girl who suffers epileptic fits when she laughs forms 'life-saving bond' with dog Elmo
A girl whose epileptic fits can be triggered by her own laughter has forged a bond with a dog named Elmo who can predict her next seizure. with her friends at a party, and laughing can trigger a seizure. Millie has formed what could be a life -saving bond with the family's one-year-old pet dog Elmo, who. Girl who has seizures when she laughs saved by pet dog Elmo She and her roommate have two rescue dogs named Clyde and Charlie and her love for them . Another fabulous example of how our pets really can change our lives for the better. quickdiets.xyz Girl who has seizures when she laughs saved by pet dog Elmo.