Grieving mum shares warning after 2-year-old dies from undiagnosed diabetes

Arya Greenlee

Grieving US mum Sierra Greenlee has shared a warning about the dangers of diabetes, after her little girl Arya lost her life to a condition they had NO idea she was living with.

“The worst night of my life”

Sierra shared her story via a Facebook post last week. She explained that she was picking Arya up after her daughter had spent the week with her father. When she got to the babysitter’s home, she discovered that two-year-old Arya was not simply exhausted as they had originally assumed, but in fact, she was actually not breathing at all.

“I would like to share with you the worst night of my life. Not because I want your pity, but because I would like to inform you on an issue that is very important and no one really thinks about,” Sierra wrote.

“In the wee hours of March 22, 2018, it was like any other. 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 babysitter’s 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.”


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Not breathing at all

Sierra began CPR immediately and an ambulance was called. Fifteen minutes later emergency services arrived. They worked on Arya for an hour before loading her into the ambulance and heading for hospital.

“They tried desperately to bring me back my baby I called my parents and her dad, I paced, I cried, I prayed … It was the most surreal moments in my life,” Sierra wrote.

“As we drove to the hospital the worst thoughts flooded into my head. I thought of the fact that the last time I had seen my baby awake she was begging me not to go to work and I went anyway. I was thinking about what it would mean for me if she was gone. I thought of what it would be like to plan my child’s funeral …”

I have avoided this post for awhile, it is long but hang in there I promise it is important. I would like to share with…

Posted by Sierra Greenlee on Monday, 17 September 2018

“Unable to revive her”

Absolutely horrendously, ten minutes after they arrived at the hospital, Sienna was given the worst news a parent could ever receive.

“The doctor said ‘we did everything we could but unfortunately we were unable to revive her and she did not survive’.”

“That one little sentence devastated my entire being,” this grieving mum admits. “When they took me to her little lifeless body laying on that big hospital bed, I lost it. I wanted to hold her and lay with her. They let me.”

Undiagnosed type 1 diabetes

Sienna explains that Arya’s cause of death was quickly determined to be diabetes.

“It appears she had had undiagnosed type 1 diabetes and her blood sugar level was in the 500’s. I could not comprehend this information. How could my baby have diabetes? 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?”

“An average person’s blood sugar should not be above 100 and my child’s was 5 times the healthy amount. At 300-400 you start to go comatose. My baby had slipped into a coma and her little body was unable to fight its way out, and it gave out. There were no signs leading up to this. It was unexpected. Diabetes does not run in either of our families and so we had no idea.”

Know the signs

Sienna says that the signs of diabetes are very easily overlooked – and she wants other parents to be more aware of this potentially fatal condition and its symptoms.

“[In toddlers] they drink a lot and pee a lot and are tired. These signs are easily missed and overlooked because most toddlers do these things … I beg you to ask your child’s doctor to test for it,” Sienna wrote. “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’.”

Is it diabetes?

Diabetes can be diagnosed by doing a finger-prick blood test and a urine test. Diabetes symptoms can develop over hours, days, weeks or months.

Symptoms may include:

  • frequent urination and/or bed-wetting in your previously ‘dry’ child
  • increased thirst and the desire to drink more than usual
  • weight loss
  • tiredness
  • mood changes
  • blurred vision
  • oral thrush
  • vaginal thrush or skin infections
  • fruity-smelling breath
  • extreme hunger
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • panting
  • confusion

If you suspect your child might have diabetes – head to the GP, go straight to a hospital or call 000. Diabetes can be fatal if medical attention is not administered quickly enough.

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