In Akron, Ohio an 8-year-old girl suddenly died from undetected Type 1 Diabetes. Her mother wants to share her story with all parents to make sure what happened to her family doesn’t happen to another.
The family of 8-year-old Julia Tatum didn’t even realize the girl had diabetes. Her mother, Paulette Richmond, thought her daughter had a common cold because she was sleepy and said her throat hurt.
But the next day she was in the hospital with a blood-sugar level off the charts, and she couldn’t be saved, WEWS-TV reported. Julia was a happy, energetic child who loved swimming and school. She was a third-grader at Imagine Community School in Akron.
“I got no warning signs that she was sick because she looked totally healthy,” said Richmond.But two weeks ago, Richmond got a call while she was visiting a friend in Columbus. Julia was suddenly very sick and unresponsive.”I need(ed) to get here, and I need(ed) to get here now, and it’s serious and everybody get to the hospital. What happened?” Richmond said.Doctors told Richmond that Julia’s blood-sugar level was 1,700. Normal is between 80 and 120.Julia’s organs failed and she died last Thursday at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital.
“I would really hate for that to happen to another mother, to have to endure what I’m enduring right now,” said Richmond.A teacher noticed that Julia seemed to urinate frequently, a possible sign of diabetes, but the school nurse didn’t notice any other symptoms.”I actually hadn’t seen her in a while, probably in a few months, so for all I knew, she was doing well,” said school nurse Jennifer Cannon.Statistics show 40 children each day are diagnosed with diabetes in the U.S. It’s a disease that attacks cells that produce insulin, and there is no cure, making it extremely important to watch for warning signs.
“The frequent urination, headaches, nausea, frequent increased thirst and hunger,” said Cannon.Richmond said, “I would just like for everybody that has children, regardless if they look healthy or they don’t look healthy, to get them tested.”On Thursday, Julia’s classmates will plant a tree in her honor. Her funeral is set for Saturday.A fund has been set up to help the family. Donations can be made at any First Merit Bank branch.For more information on juvenile diabetes, visit the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Web site.