This news article about the 11 year old girl in Wisconsin who died of diabetic ketoacidosis is so very sad. While her parents sat by and prayed for her, she suffered needlessly as her body shut down.

When my youngest child was diagnosed with type I diabetes at age 10 (she is now 11) in December 2006, she was in diabetic ketoacidosis. Her body had attacked and destroyed the beta cells in her pancreas and her body no longer produced insulin. The theory is that her body probably fought off a virus and then turned on the insulin producing cells in her pancreas for some reason. Upon arrival at the ER, her blood sugar was 757 and she had large ketones in her urine (thus the name ketoacidosis). Her body was trying to burn off the excess sugar in her blood, but craving sugar at the same time because she could not utilize it without insulin to help out. She was weak, lethargic, had lost about 20 pounds over 3 or 4 weeks, and was very dehydrated although she drank everything she could. I thought she had a stomach virus and then thought it was her appendix. She was in pain, barely able to walk due to shortness of breath and was extremely weak. I had to hold her up and practically carry her into the ER. It was awful and very scary.

I cannot imagine seeing her like that, sitting there praying for her and not seeking help.  I prayed for my daughter, my whole family, our friends and members of our church prayed for her.  We also sought those trained with the knowledge needed to help us.  The medical staff at the ICU told me that if I’d not taken her to the hospital, she’d probably not have made it through that night. She was almost in a diabetes induced coma.

I can understand that her parents have their religious beliefs, whatever those beliefs are. We all have beliefs that govern our lives. I cannot understand how a parent could sit by and watch their child suffer and die when something could have been done. I’m just not made that way. This child could have lived a long, happy and healthy life with diabetes education and insulin therapy.

Reading the news story about poor little Madeline Neumann brought back so many feelings. My eyes were full of tears and I felt the sort of outrage and indignation that I feel when one of my children have been bullied or treated unfairly. This was a needless tragedy, a death that could have easily been prevented.

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