Meet Amber and her best friend, a donkey named Shocks.
Shocks was in a bad way when he was found.
He was tied up with a rope around his neck and was covered in sores from being tethered.
Thankfully he was rescued, and is now a therapy donkey for disabled children at The Donkey Sanctuary in Birmingham, UK.
In 2013 he met little Amber, who was just two- and -a -half.
Sadly, Amber wasn’t able to make a single sound.
Along with her twin sister, she was born prematurely and underwent an emergency tracheostomy to allow her to breathe.
But during the life-saving procedure, the airflow was cut off from her vocal chords which made her mute.
She was also diagnosed with cerebral palsy which made it difficult for her to move around.
But her life changed for the better when she met Shocks.
According to Amber’s mum Tracy, their bond was instant.
Amber even had little rides on Shocks, who was so gentle towards her.
Soon after, her daughter’s muscles became stronger and her health improved.
Amber then had a special valve fitted over her breathing tube to help her speak, but there was still a chance it wouldn’t work.
Then something amazing happened.
Amber said her first words.
She said: “I love you, Shocky,” as she cuddled her donkey friend.
It was a day her family thought they’d never see.
And since then, Amber, now six hasn’t stopped talking.
Amber’s mum believes Shocks helped heal her daughter and we think so too. What a sweet story!
Amber and her therapy donkey, Shocks, both had a difficult start in life.
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Minutes after Amber was born she was rushed into surgery for an emergency tracheostomy that saved her life but left her unable to talk. She was also diagnosed with cerebral palsy after a brain bleed.
Credit: Ambers Donkey
Meanwhile Shocks was found tied up on a farm in Ireland. He had been badly abused and was terrified of people.
Amber’s parents heard about Shocks and the two met in 2013. Amber’s condition physical symptoms instantly improved. Riding Shocks slowly helped little Amber develop muscles that allowed her to walk, defying all the expectations of the medical professionals treating her.
The shy and withdrawn little donkey also miraculously let Amber wrap her arms around his neck.
At the age of three Amber was old enough to be fitted with a device that could perhaps make speech possible. Unfortunately she still would not talk.
Amber’s mum Tracy had an idea, maybe if she attached the special valve while Amber was with Shocks, that would encourage her to talk?
One day after riding Shocks when it was time to say goodbye Amber looked at shocks and said “I love you, Shocky.” Amber mum tracy burst out in tears. She had spoken her first words.