Transcript for Boy with Type 1 diabetes surprised with specially trained dog on 'GMA'
Now to our series, doggie M.D., all about the way helping to save lives and this morning we're taking a look at diabetic alert dogs that can sniff out when your blood sugar is dangerously low. Maggie Rulli has more. Reporter: Running errands, out to eat and, of course, hanging at home, there's forest always on call, always with his eyes locked on Matt. It's a team. You need to have trust, a great deal of trust with your partner. Reporter: Forest is more than just Matt's best friend. He's his lifeline because Matt has type 1 diabetes and his body can't make insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar. But forest is here to help. He's highly trained to smell Matt's scent and notices changes in his blood sugar alerting Matt to the ups and downs like this. Yeah. He can smell it happening before this device can tell me. Reporter: Matt says forest alerts him around six times a day. Hi. So that is his paw telling me that I need to be mindful of what my blood glucose is right Reporter: Matt still has to prick his finger to get his blood sugar levels and relies on a pump in his arm to deliver insulin. What would happen if you didn't do those tests? I would be dead in a matter of hours. Reporter: Matt says he no longer feels alone in the fight. To have somebody with me all the time whose only job is to squeeze my arm when something is wrong, there's nothing better in the world. Reporter: Matt hopes his active lifestyle can show other people what it's like to live with type one diabetes. Families like Brooke Morgan and her 9-year-old son Eli. Eli was diagnosed with type one diabetes in November and are on a list to get a trained alert dog like forest. With this dog it will give him more freedom and flexibility but empower him as he grows with this disease. Reporter: For "Good morning America," Maggie Rulli, ABC news, New York. And we are joined by Dr. Jen Ashton, along with Brooke Morgan and her son Eli who has type one diabetes and, doc, I want to start with you. When someone with diabetes, not knowing your glucose level that, can be dangerous, life-threatening so what happens to the body. Let's do a little mini med school. It can be dangerous if it goes very, very high which can it can and can be dangerous if it goes very low and with type one diabetes, different than type two your body is not making enough insulin so they need to take insulin in which they do constantly and if you don't have carbohydrates and sugar on board, your blood sugar goes to the basement and then you start to get symptoms and those symptoms can start with sweating, shaking, a little nausea which probably the dogs can pick up on and can progress to confusion, blurred vision, seizures and can be fatal if they don't get sugar. Having a log dike forest don't mean you don't check your glucose levels. You have to still check. You absolutely have to check and you have to eat. You have to make sure you realize this is an added layer of protection and support for the person with diabetes but there are other options, there are continuous blood glucose monitors very, very common today but this is lifelong process so to offer the person a support animal to help with that is really an incredible thing. And, Brooke, Eli was diagnosed with type one diabetes just last year. Your life changed a lot whether it happened. Dramatically. What are you looking most forward to when Eli is matched with a dog. I think it's the added peace of mind, the security of knowing someone else is looking out for him too so that's what I'm looking forward to most and empowering him to take control of his disease. You've been on the wait list for four months. Yes. What did they tell you about the process? How long does it take. So once we reached the end of the wait list, which could be any day now, we will be sent a picture and we'll get to look at the picture and decide if this is our dog and we've decided on a lab. We're water people so the lab will then once we say yes, this is our dog, he will go and be trained for about eight to 12 3407b9ss and then at that point he will get to come home. We are still a ways out. It's a long process. It's a very long process and takes a lot of training on the dog's part. We know you've been waiting to get matched with a dog for awhile so we have someone we want you to meet so come on out, you guys. This is polar. That is polar. And polar, polar is five months old. Polar is five months old. He's with his trainer Ed and he's getting ready to start his training to be an alert dog but just not any alert dog, Eli, he's going to be yours. Alert dog. How are you feeling, Eli. Good. Your wait is over and polar is going to get trading just for you, my friend. Are you happy with that? Oh, my gosh. I have a feeling you better get used to those kisses because he's going to be doing that. He loves you. We can see that already. Thank you.
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