Allergy-sniffing dog saves Phenix City teenager's life

Allergy-sniffing dog saves Phenix City teenager's life

PHENIX CITY, AL (WTVM) - A Phenix City teenager was saved by her three pound dog, giving her another chance to celebrate her birthday.

Iesha Johnson turned 18 on April 11, 2014. She said her one-year-old toy Yorkshire Terrier saved her life on April 8 at around 3 a.m.

"I turn 18 today," Iesha said. "I might not have been able to celebrate the day had it not been for my dog. I'm grateful and I feel thankful to be here."

Iesha said her dog, Beoncia, jumped on her bed on Tuesday morning and scratched the right side of her throat and licked her face.

"She jumped on my bed and started scratching the right side of my throat, which happens to be the side that was swelling up," Iesha said.

Iesha's tongue, lips and the right side of her throat were swollen. She had problem breathing or talking. Iesha's mother, Tonza Johnson, said the family was blessed to have Beoncia wake up Iesha just in time.

"My daughter just walked into my room and she had her hands wrapped around her throat," Tonza said. "I didn't even think about calling and waiting for 911. I took her in my car and we immediately drove to Martin Army Hospital. She was there for two nights."

Tonza said the doctors have not discovered the exact cause of Iesha's allergies just yet. However, the teenager is now fully equipped with medicines in case this happens again.

Beoncia was Tonza's present in 2013 when she was fighting against breast cancer. Beoncia was an omen of hope and a good luck charm for her. Now, the little dog had done it again for Tonza's daughter.

"I'm a Christian, so I believe God was using Beoncia to save my daughter," Tonza said. "And God knew that if something had happened to my daughter, I wouldn't have been able to survive that. I was cured of breast cancer in January of this year. I wouldn't have been able to survive losing my daughter."

"She's so bossy," Iesha joked about Beoncia. "She's sassy and she's adorable."

"I think Beoncia has maternal instinct," Tonza said. "Beoncia never had puppies, but I believe our dog went over to check on Iesha that night just like how mothers check on their children every night."

Iesha said she will be celebrating her 18th birthday with her family, and her biggest wish is to stay healthy.

"I'd also like a car," Iesha laughed. "But I'm going to pray that this doesn't happen again. I'm just really excited to be home again. I'm so grateful."

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