Real Name: Victoria Doroshenko
Case: Medical Miracle
Date: December 4, 1984 to 1990
Location: Tacoma, Washington
Details: Victoria Doroshenko was a woman who suffered from epilepsy but was helped by the mysterious dog that could predict her seizures. On December 4, 1984 at 1:45am, she, then nineteen, was driving when she was hit by a drunk driver in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She was left unconscious and suffered head injuries. Although she survived, her life was changed; she lost her job, was unable to go to school, and spent time in and out of the hospital.
A year later, Victoria moved to Tacoma, Washington, to try and start a new life. In August 1986, while in the hospital, she suffered a seizure and was diagnosed with epilepsy with little chance of recovery. On some days, she had up to twenty-four seizures. During some, she would fall and injure her head. Due to them, she was incapable of living a normal life again. She needed constant supervision in order to do just basic tasks.
In 1987, Victoria heard about a program at a corrections facility where inmates trained dogs to help people with handicaps. They learned to open and close doors, pick up a telephone receiver, pull wheelchairs, and fetch items such as clothing and hairbrushes. When she went to the facility, she met with one that was chosen for her. However, she had a seizure while there, and it did nothing. A second one named Harley was also in the room. He came to her aid and laid beside her.
Once Harley was with Victoria permanently, her anxiety calmed down, her amount of seizures decreased, and she soon resumed classes at college. One day, Harley began barking for no reason and would not cooperate. Victoria soon felt unwell, went into a classroom, and asked if she could sit down for a while. Harley calmed down once she was in there. Five minutes later, she suffered a major seizure. It appeared that Harley somehow knew that she was going to have it. His barking was a sign for her to go to a safe place.
After that, Harley never failed to warn Victoria that she was about to have a seizure, and usually gave 15-45 minutes notice. With him by her side, she finally felt comfortable with doing regular tasks. She left home whenever she wanted and began to live a normal life. Sadly, in June 1990, Harley became ill and died one month later.
Interestingly, fifteen other dogs have been reported to being able to predict epileptic seizures, with six of them originating from the same facility as Harley.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the November 14, 1990 episode.
Results: Unsolved. As of February 2009, according to her daughter, Haley, Victoria is still in and out of the hospital, and could be better, but is a fighter; she does not suffer from seizures, at least not nearly as often, and does not have a service dog. She has a little terrier that keeps her spirits up.