Charlie Sheen Pays for Injured Girl’s Therapy Dog

Magazines and news headlines are frequently overrun with Charlie Sheen’s unsavory escapades, but this time there’s a good reason for him to be in the media – he recently donated $10,000 so 15-year-old Teagan Marti could receive a therapy dog.

“I think he’s a very kind person for helping me and my family, and very generous,” Teagan Marti said.

In July of 2010, the Marti family drove from their home in Parkland, Florida to Extreme World in Wisconsin Dells after Teagan had seen the “Terminal Velocity” free fall ride on the Travel Channel.

“I figured that it would be safe and be fine to do. … I watched several people before her. … I saw several times that it was being done and it looked like everything was organized and done well,” said father Alex Marti.  “Except in this case, the platform went up and never reached the top, and we were waiting for it to go to the top, and they were trying to lift the net below and before – the net was still on the ground, and all of a sudden, she’s released from the bucket.  And she falls 100 feet directly to the ground.  To me, it’s just impossible to imagine that something like that could happen.”

Teagan, just moments before her tragic fall.

The then 12-year-old girl suffered injuries to her skull and pelvis, and 10 fractures in her spine.

“She was basically unconscious, not moving and laying flat on her back with blood coming out of her ears and nose,” Alex explained.  “Just a horrible, horrible scene.  At the moment she fell and I heard that loud thud, I just assumed she was dead.”

Alex, a radiologist, performed CPR on his daughter and brought her back to life.  She was hospitalized for three months, and with physical therapy, is able to walk with a walker.

Teagan’s mother Julie said they are in financial trouble because of medical bills and her recent divorce.  Their home is being foreclosed upon and their insurance is no longer covering Teagan’s physical therapy.  The idea of a therapy dog seemed to be out of the question.

“I’m in such disbelief,” Julie said.  “I was crying. … What a guy.  What a guy.”

Lucia Wilgus became friends with the Martis after learning about their daughter’s injury.  She organized fundraising, found a golden retriever puppy and arranged for training.  She sent a letter to a family friend who is Sheen’s godfather.

The dog is being trained to turn on lights, pick up objects and to just be a good companion to Teagan.  Wilgus estimated the training and related costs to be about $6,000.  Sheen said the request had a “personal vibe” since it came through his grandfather, and he decided to send extra money.

“If there’s a need for more I told them to call me,” he said.

“I like to pay it forward,” Sheen said.  “People come into your orbit for a reason.  You don’t always know what that is ahead of time, but if I ignore these requests then I don’t have any opportunity to see where these things lead us, or lead me.”

Sheen said he doesn’t like to broadcast his donations, but wanted to make this one public to inspire others to donate.

Teagan will receive the dog on her birthday in September.  She hasn’t yet picked a name out for it.

“I think they should name the dog Charlie,” Sheen said jokingly.


  1. Barbara says on  02/15/2013 at 6:37 pm

    What this article is talking about is a service dog NOT a therapy dog. Different functions.

    • Anonymous says on  02/15/2013 at 7:06 pm

      Really? That’s all you took away from this story? Sad.

    • Anonymous says on  02/15/2013 at 8:24 pm

      Umm it also said the dog is to be a good companion for the girl. Some times that’s the best kind of therapy. Thanks for taking a nice article and making it negative. People like you really know how to take the silver lining out of a cloud.

    • Anonymous says on  02/16/2013 at 8:21 am

      IT is a therapy dog reguardless how you think of it. Yes it helps you but it also helps her mentally, hence the therapy…./facepalm, pull your head out of you’re arse!

      This is why I always liked Charlie Sheen. :)

    • Momo says on  04/16/2013 at 2:30 pm

      Actually it IS a service dog, it does (or will) perform physical tasks for her, making it a service dog.

      Well done Charlie Sheen. This is awesome.

  2. Ginette says on  02/15/2013 at 9:20 pm

    How strange and sad to be so negative, you need to open your eyes! You totally missed the good happening here! :(

  3. Kim says on  02/15/2013 at 9:57 pm

    Can’t a dog be both a service dog ANS a therapy dog? I know what a therapy dog is – I have two registered therapy dogs. I also know what a service dog is – I have seen them in action many times. Although I have disabilities, I don’t yet require a service dog to go through life.

    Often times a great companion or therapy dog can do just as much for a person with disabilities as a service dog. My two therapy dogs – we visit nursing homes and a hospice, are also my own companions. Everyday when I get home from work (M-F), I often feel tired, cramly and just want to sit and even cry sometimes. But once I get in my house and I see the happy faces on my two dogs and their wagging tails – all that tiredness, feeling cranky and wanting to cry – IMMEDIATELY leaves my body. Service dogs are not trained to be an encourager – that comes from within the
    dog – that cannot be trained into a dog.

    I just see a great, heart-warming story here.

  4. 12inchslonger says on  02/16/2013 at 9:38 am

    the Vatican Assassin strikes again

  5. Anonymous says on  02/16/2013 at 10:04 am

    I see a lot of complaining about Barbara pointing out the difference between a therapy dog and a service dog. It seems several think it’s not important and think she’s somehow “bad” for saying it is. Well I would like to ask those people if they have a service dog and have to deal with the day to day ignorance of people about service dogs. Have you ever been refused entry because you have a service dog even though it’s against federal law to do so? I have with my service dog. Have you ever had people charge you special fees because you have a service dog which is also illegal? I have. So why is this important? Therapy dogs are well mannered lovable dogs that visit many people in hospitals and nursing homes. Service dogs are specially trained dogs that aid one person in health related issues such as diabetes, PTSD, seizures, and the physically impaired. Dogs that help the blind and deaf are a notch up from that and are termed as guide dogs. Service dogs and guide dogs are protected by the American Disabilities Act (ADA), however, therapy dogs are not. Mr. Sheen provided a service dog – not a therapy dog. If nothing else it points out how much greater kindness Mr. Sheen provided by providing a service dog and not just a therapy dog.

  6. Furkid Mom says on  02/16/2013 at 12:13 pm

    I have never really disliked Charlie regardless of his escapades because I think his dad Martin SHeen is not just a superb actor but a stellar person. This article makes me think the apple didnt fall that far from the tree just rolled away a bit and now is rolling back.

    Nicely done Charlie nicely done!!!!!

  7. Let’s get off Barbara’s back please (grin). As a person with multiple disabilities who mitigates such with a service dog, you cannot IMAGINE the public access issues one has because folks try to take their pet dog with them and call them a service dog. Many do so by claiming the things their dog does are actually therapy dog tasks. Don’t get me wrong. Therapy dogs do a lot of good and a lot of people have been blessed by therapy dogs. But Teagan’s dog has been trained to do skilled tasks to assist because of her adventitious disabilities. That is a service dog. The writer of the article should correct the mistake because these misuses of the terminology are why people who DO have service dogs have issues in public. It is a terrific article – and HIGH FIVE to Charlie. I hope it does inspire others to reach out and assist in these ways. People who criticize someone pointing out the error or terminology here are people who do not go through life with service dogs. If you did you would understand why the distinction is so important.

    • I think the majority of the people weren’t really comparing apples to oranges as Barbara was.

      I believe they were more annoyed with the fact that, THAT is all she got out of the story.

      I too, am annoyed with that also.

  8. Anonymous says on  02/18/2013 at 2:42 pm

    What i would like to know is if the family filed a law suit against the amusement park?

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