Naleen Barchuk and her rescue pup Kilo. Barchuk is trying to raise funds so she can have Kilo trained as a service dog to help her handle her PTSD symptoms. Kristi Patton/Western News Staff Naleen Barchuk and her rescue pup Kilo. Barchuk is trying to raise funds so she can have Kilo trained as a service dog to help her handle her PTSD symptoms. Kristi Patton/Western News Staff

PTSD sufferer reaches out for help

Naleen Barchuk knew something was wrong when she began shaking and getting anxiety

Naleen Barchuk knew something was wrong when she began shaking, feeling anxiety and crying for seemingly no reason.

However, there was a reason behind it.

“The trauma I have seen is terrible. For almost 15 years I worked as a volunteer with emergency service groups. I had people die in my arms, have helped save lives, have seen horrible accidents,” said Barchuk.

Then a few years ago, while working as a highway flagger in Okanagan Falls, she was hit by a car.

“The car just didn’t stop. The driver didn’t see us. I saw her come around the corner and started moving and went to push my partner out of the way and tripped. The car clipped my knee and I fell in a hole that was being excavated,” said Barchuk.

After suffering quietly through anxiety attacks, chest pains and other symptoms it all came to a head while taking a paramedic training program.

“It all comes flooding to you and I was crying. I would get shaky. Since I was young all I wanted to be was a police officer or in a position where I could help someone, now I know I just can’t,” said Barchuk, who added she has been diagnosed with severe post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety.

She said coming forward for help can be difficult.

“It’s your pride as a first responder. You are supposed to be the one helping others, not the other way around. Quite often you see emergency responders brush things off, ignore their own need to help someone else. But then people started asking me what was happening to me and I had to suck it up and ask for help,” said Barchuk.

So, now she is. Barchuk is in need of assistance to fund the training her rescue pup needs to be certified as a service dog. The training will cost from $2,000 to $4,000.

While Kilo has come to her rescue, she is just as important to the pup. The mixed-breed dog was set to be destroyed because he kept nipping at the horses where he lived when the pair found each other thanks to Mutts and Motorcycles who have helped many others in the area in obtaining a dog that could work as a service dog.

Related: Family needs to help bring service dog home

Barchuk said it is amazing how the dog has already helped her.

“They can smell it on you and they can see it, sense it even before you can. It is really amazing. When Kilo notices it he just sits and puts his paw on my foot or my leg. It calms me right down,” said Barchuk.

To help her raise the money necessary she has started a online fund at www.GoFundMe.com/ptsd-anxiety-service-dog-training.