The sudden death of a woman’s only child from undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes has inspired her to warn others of the dangers brought on by the sneaky disease using Facebook, potentially saving the lives of other children.
Mother Sierra Greenlee was picking her daughter up from the babysitter’s in late March of 2018 when tragedy struck – her daughter, Arya, who initially seemed simply to be tired out from a long day, was not breathing.
“I have avoided this post for a while, it is long but… I would like to share with you the worst night of my life. Because I would like to inform you on an issue that is very important and no one really thinks about,” read Sierra’s Facebook post.
“In the wee hours of March 22, 2018…. I got off work and I headed to pick up my daughter. She had spent the last week with her dad and I was ready for my snuggles. I was excited to hear about her week and I was dreaming of the late morning breakfast and playtime we would have when we woke up.
When I got to the babysitters she had carried her to my car, my daughter was completely knocked out she had had a hard day. In an offhanded way I asked if she was breathing, joking. Until I put my hand on her little chest and I felt no movement. In that moment I completely freaked out. I couldn’t finish a thought. I knew I needed to get her back inside and start CPR. I was so mad and terrified.”
Greenlee attempted CPR until the paramedics arrived and loaded her into the ambulance, rushing Arya and her mother to the hospital, where Sierra was given the worst news of her life.
”For the next hour while they tried desperately to bring me back my baby I called my parents and her dad, I paced, I cried, I prayed. At times I felt like an outsider watching this awful event unfold. I had always had these nightmares but it was never supposed to happen, not to me. It was the most surreal moments in my life… I was there for maybe 10 minutes before a doctor came in say down beside me and said the words that would forever change my world, he said ‘we did everything we could but unfortunately we were unable to revive her and she did not survive.'”
Then, hospital staff came in to tell her the reason – her daughter had died from undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes and her blood sugar had been 5 times higher than the healthy amount.
”She had went to her wellness check up only the week before and they told me she was healthy. How could she have died from a disease that I know thousands of people manage? Later I found out that Diabetes is not something they test for in small children. They don’t typically test until they are school age and show signs. Unless of course it runs in the family.”
So now, Sierra has taken it upon herself to spread the message about the dangers of undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes, encouraging parents to get their children tested at regular checkups.
”The signs for Diabetes in toddlers are they drink a lot and pee a lot and are tired. These signs are easily missed and overlooked because most toddlers do these things. The test is a simple blood sugar test that you have to request at their wellness check up. So I beg you to ask your child’s doctor to test for it. I beg you to become aware of the signs and symptoms of childhood Diabetes. I beg you to share this post and story with everyone because no parent should ever have to hear the words ‘I’m sorry but unfortunately she did not survive’.
Since it was made on September 17th, 2018, the post has been shared nearly 664,000 times, and inspired many parents to get their children tested for Type 1 diabetes.
Maybe, thanks to this one mother’s strength in the face of a horrible situation, children lives will be saved.