Amber Austwick, a 6-year-old little girl from Birmingham, England was born prematurely along with her twin sister Hope. While Hope was fine, Amber needed a life-saving tracheotomy that restricted air to her vocal cords, because of some complications. Ever since, she was unable to speak.
Three years later all was about to change for little Amber, thanks to a rescued donkey. Shocks was found at a farm in Ireland is a very poor condition. Amber’s mom, Tracy Austwick took the poor animal to the Donkey Sanctuary in Birmingham. It is here where Amber and Shocks first met.
“It was quite scary really,” Tracy Austwick told the Daily Mail. “Shocks was in the arena and the riding instructor took little Amber to him and I found it scary for me because Shocks was so much bigger than her. But Amber wasn’t scared and Shocks was really excited to meet her and they’ve kept that bond ever since.”
It wasn’t took to long until the little girl and the rescued donkey started to form an incredible bond. And without even knowing, Shocks was actually a therapy animal with Amber her first patient.
“It was fairly immediate to see they had a bond together, as they were both so gentle with each other, ” Julian Austwick, Amber’s dad told the Dodo. “Shocks would lower his head to her and would allow her to hold him around his neck. It was scary for us, as parents, as he was so big compared to little Amber, but they really seemed smitten!”
From then on, Shocks helped Amber to be positive, to be active and to get the strength to keep fighting. However it took more then a year, until Amber said her first words. And to the surprising of her parents, she just said “I love you, Shocky.”
“It was such an emotional moment. I couldn’t believe my daughter had finally found her voice. Once she met Shocks he brought her out of her shell, she’s a lot more confident with him and with friends at school who she loves to talk to about him and the donkey sanctuary,” Amber’s mother said.