Bradenton boy, 5, left blind from shooting in need of therapy dog

July 7, 2014 

Diana Lopez wants to see her son happy again and believes that a therapy dog could help give him comfort. BAY NEWS 9 PHOTO

BRADENTON -- One year ago a drive-by shooting left then 4-year-old Davien Martinez blind in one eye. Now, his family hopes a furry friend means more freedom for the child as he recovers.

“A bullet went through my mommy's bedroom window and went down my head, all the way to my right eye and lodged in my jaw,” said Martinez.

Since the shooting, Martinez has been in and out of the hospital. In May he had yet another surgery to remove a plate that was coming out.

The trauma has also taken a toll on his young life mentally. Davien suffers from anxiety and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and he has trouble sleeping.

“Because I get scared,” said Martinez.

“Before he didn’t have any of that stuff," said mother Diana Lopez. "But now he can't control his impulses, his mood swings -- it's bad.” Lopez wants to see her son happy again and believes that a therapy dog could help give him comfort.

“A dog can sense when he starts having impulses and when his mood starts getting high and they can help him calm down,” said Diana Lopez. Davien says he would love a four-legged friend.

“It’s fun having a dog,” Martinez said. Lopez has found a trainer out of Palm City that is willing to work with young kids. Davien would be able to start training with his therapy dog in September. The problem is it costs $11,000.

“$8,000 for the training and $3,000 for the dog," said Lopez. "Very expensive.”

It's money that Lopez does not have. However, she is hopeful that somehow, someway Davien will get his dog.

If you would like to help out Davien’s efforts to get a therapy dog visit the boy's go fund me profile at http://www.gofundme.com/davienservicedog

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