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Girl's dog helps surgeons during procedure

12:56 PM, Dec 26, 2013   |    comments
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DURHAM, N.C. - Doctors at North Carolina's Duke University Medical Center sought help from a one-of-a-kind specialist Wednesday.

But this expert has four legs and is covered in fur.

His name is J.J., and he lives with and helps 7-year-old Kaelyn Krawczyk, known as "K.K.," who suffers from a rare disorder in which simple things like being too hot can trigger severe reactions like a drop in blood pressure or trouble breathing.

"She can go from just a normal everyday activity to a life-threatening event in a matter of no time," K.K.'s mom Michelle said.

Since J.J. has been trained to sense changes in K.K.'s body, doctors decided to let her four-legged friend go into the operating room to assist during a medical procedure when K.K. had to be put under general anesthesia.

"It struck us that J.J. is really just an additional monitor that provides information about what's going on with K.K.," Dr. Brad Taicher of Duke University Medical Center said.

The procedure went as planned, and J.J. clearly knew it was going well.

"She is the reason why we can sleep at night, she is the reason why K.K. can have a more normal life," Michelle said.

The procedure was intended to help prevent recurrent infections in K.K.

(Copyright © 2013 NBC Universal, All Rights Reserved)

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