Helping to turn lives around

Gwyneira and Nicki

Gwyneira and Nicki

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A woman who suffered a head injury in a road traffic accident has turned her life around, thanks to the help of Canine Partners.

The assistance dog charity that transforms the lives of people with disabilities is celebrating its 25th anniversary.

Gwyneira Waters sustained a major traumatic brain injury and other injuries in the accident in 1993, they had an impact on her independence, abilities and mobility.

She was low in confidence, reliant on her husband and housebound. She did not return to work and lost her love for music.

She said: “I became isolated and frustrated by my loss of independence and the effects of my injuries.”

Canine Partners was introduced to Gwyneira at a respite centre.

In July 2010, she met Nicki, the black Labrador that had been chosen as her canine partner.

The 49-year-old said: “I could tell instantly she knew we were a team and that life for us both was starting again from that moment. She loved me for who I was now.”

Mrs Waters is now out every day, taking Nicki for walks, she has confidence to talk to people and she has joined the local choir and rekindled her love for music.

She added: “Nicki can tug the back door closed meaning I have freedom to go in and out of the garden whenever I want.

“She can also get the phone when it rings and bring it to me.

“She retrieves even the smallest of dropped items from the television remote to a key.

“I see the world from a different perspective now. Nicki has lit up my life.”

For more information about Canine Partners, visit: www.caninepartners.org.uk.