Heartbreak, disbelief, anguish. These are the feelings I had this weekend when I heard news of Kycie Terry’s passing. For six months I have followed the story of the beautiful, bright-eyed 5-year-old who won our hearts with her story of courage, and strength on the day she was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in January 2015.
Followed the next day with the passing of another angel, David Brown II at the age of 4. Another story of Diabetic Ketoacidosis (DKA) that could have been avoided had they been checked at the hospital with a glucometer. David’s blood sugar was 770, which tragically ended his life when his brain swelled, and his kidney’s eventually failed due to the time with such high blood sugar.
These two tragedies arrive on the heels of a week riddled with frustration within the diabetic community. The CrossFit slander campaign, which incorrectly linked sugar to all diabetes diagnosis, was an exhausting hole to dig Type 1 Diabetes out of. It’s incorrect information, such as CrossFit was spreading, that promotes the tragedy that is DKA.
People don’t automatically think their child could be suffering from the early onset of Type 1 Diabetes, because they don’t know the signs, they equate the disease to sugar intake and they couldn’t be more wrong.
Extreme thirst, immense urination (more than usual), significant drop in weight, sleepy all the time, these are a few of the symptoms that would be a reason to go to the ER and have your child’s blood sugar checked.
Diabetic Ketoacidosis is becoming an epidemic, my family is so fortunate to have made it through a DKA diagnosis. Carter’s blood sugar was 880, higher than David’s and Carter was so much smaller. My heart aches for these two families who lost their children this past weekend. I can’t imagine the grief and anguish they feel, seeing how close we were to losing Carter, or having life altering complications, make me see how miraculous it is that Carter has had zero complications from his stint in DKA.
There is no excuse for doctors to not have the ability to check blood sugars with a simple prick to the finger. One drop of blood makes all the difference, one drop of blood could save lives. Misinformation needs to be corrected, and not just by the diabetic community. It’s the responsibility of doctors to get behind this cause, we need to guard our children better.
The heartbreak heard around the world this weekend, was unnecessary, and due to misdiagnosis. Now is the time to make changes, advocate for the children who aren’t able to advocate for themselves, it’s not just their health that is at stake, it’s their lives.
To the families of Kycie Terry and David Brown II, my most sincerest heartfelt condolences for the loss of your two precious babies. Kycie and David will not be forgotten, their lives have meaning and they will help fuel the necessary changes that need to be made in order to protect future children from this horrible disease.
WE NEED A CURE.