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Teen with Prader-Willi syndrome receives surprise of a lifetime

Posted: 5:49 AM, May 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-14 07:49:06-04
Teen surprised with therapy horse

NAMPA, Idaho — "He takes my sadness, my anger, and my hunger" that's what 17-year-old Abby Heathman had to say about her newest companion. On Abby's 17th birthday she was given the surprise of a lifetime, a therapy horse she named "C.J". Her painted horse belonged to family friends who were touched by the obvious bond Abby and the horse shared.

Abby was born with Prader-Willi syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes behavioral problems and constant hunger. The constant hunger makes Abby feel frustrated and anxious, the feelings often consuming her day-to-day life. But according to Abby's mother, Donna, this horse, "has provided for her what scientist can't, what medications can't, and that is making her feel like a regular kid."

C.J formerly named "T.J" was training to be a horse the Lusk family could take hunting. But with a stubborn personality and fear of moving water, the Lusk's were having a hard time finding "T.J's" next move...it wasn't until "T.J came right up to Abby and she told me, 'I just love him, it's love at first sight, he loves me,' and you know, they had a bond like an instant connection..." Cindy Lusk, T.J's former owner shares.

C.J short for "Creek Jumper" will live on Abby's aunt's property in Kuna where Abby can visit and ride him as often as she'd like.