A mother who lost her toddler to undiagnosed type 1 diabetes is urging parents to be aware of the symptoms.
Sierra Greenlee’s two-year-old daughter Arya passed away after falling unconscious following a rise in high blood sugar levels that saw her develop diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA).
DKA is a life-threatening complication of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes. Symptoms include vomiting, dehydration and having an unusual smell on the breath.
In a Facebook post, the mother from Missouri in America said: “Diabetes does not run in either of our families and so we had no idea. 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.”
The post has so far been shared more than 637,000 times.
Sierra was told that Arya’s blood sugar levels were five times above the levels they should have bee, which is why she slipped into a coma and sadly never regained consciousness again.
“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.”
Sierra said losing her daughter has “devastated my entire being”, but has shared her story because she wants to prevent the same thing happening to another family.
“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 the words ‘I’m sorry but unfortunately she did not survive.'”
Parents who are concerned about their child’s health should seek advice from their GP. If type 1 diabetes is diagnosed, it is possible to control it with insulin, a healthy diet and exercise and live a perfectly normal life.