A teenager wakes up from a coma after a therapy dog pays her a visit

Hope Schreiber
Fergie the therapy dog
Fergie the therapy dog spent eight hours with a 19-year-old woman in a coma. Miraculously, the teen woke up. (Photo: Mary Cullinan via Facebook)

Farrah Fox, 19, suffered a severe brain injury after an off-duty officer sped through a stop sign, ramming her friend’s SUV on July 15. According to her father, Ira Fox, the doctors believed it would be a “miracle” if the University of Central Florida student, who had hoped to be an aerospace engineer, makes a full recovery. But the family recently did see an improvement in Farrah, and they believe it’s because of a dedicated therapy dog.

“[Farrah] didn’t open her eyes at all when she was in the coma. She wasn’t responding to anyone,” Marla-Jo Fox, Farrah’s mother, told the Sun Sentinel.

On August 17, a 7-year-old Labradoodle named Fergie, along with her owner and family friend Mary Cullinan, came to spend time with Farrah. The dog spent eight hours laying by the teenager’s side.

“We don’t know if it was Fergie or just time,” Cullinan told the Sentinel. “But Fergie was with her for eight hours that day. Farrah responds to Fergie more than she responds to people right now. She just has this connection with her.”

“Fergie appears to provide Farrah with a lot of comfort,” Ira told CBS TV affiliate WPEC. “She seems a lot at ease. Relaxed, resting, stimulated.”

While Farrah is now awake, she still is unable to speak or walk, and her road to recovery will be a long and difficult journey. Doctors have warned her family that she may be in rehab for up to two years.

“You don’t know how much of the person you’ll get back,” Ira said. “The doctors said if she makes a 100 percent recovery it would be a miracle. Well then, I guess I need another miracle.”

A GoFundMe account has been set up by the family to help defray the cost of Farrah’s ongoing medical treatment.

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