Friday, March 28, 2008

Holding Madeline in the Light

I am speechless right now. I'm angry. I'm sad. No, sad doesn't even begin to touch the way my heart is hurting right now. The little girl in the picture below died Sunday of diabetic ketoacidosis from undiagnosed type-1 diabetes. Her death could easily have been prevented, but her parents chose NOT to get medical attention for their daughter.

Hearing this story took me back to the day my daughter, Allie, was diagnosed with type 1 (which is an unpreventable, uncurable but TREATABLE auto-immune disease that causes the beta cells, which produce insulin in the pancreas, to die). It was October 18, 2006; she was 12--just one year older than Madeline. We have certainly had our ups and downs on the diabetes trail, and had some close calls, but Allie is alive and I am so very very grateful for that. Please say a prayer for Madeline. I wish I could ask you to pray for her parents, but I can't. I know I have to, but I just can't. Not yet.

WESTON — An 11-year-old Weston girl died Sunday from a treatable form of diabetes after her parents prayed for healing rather than seek medical treatment, Everest Metro Police Chief Dan Vergin said this afternoon.

Vergin said the girl’s parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, attributed the death of their daughter, Madeline Neumann, to the belief they didn’t have enough faith.The child’s aunt from California called police and asked them to go to the home to check on her niece, Vergin said.
Madeline Neumann then was taken by ambulance to Saint Claire’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.Vergin said the cause of death was diabetic ketoacidosis, which develops when a person has too little insulin in their body. Left untreated, diabetic ketoacidosis might cause a person to lose consciousness and die, according the Mayo Clinic Web site.
“It is our understanding that instead of seeking medical help, they chose to pray over her and their faith would heal her,” Vergin said. He said the family has no ties to a specific church or religion.Police will investigate Neumann’s death and forward their findings to the Marathon County district attorney’s office to determine whether a crime was committed, Vergin said.
Kathy Ziembo, an advanced practice registered nurse for Aspirus Wausau Hospital, said diabetic ketoacidosis is a treatable condition that the hospital helps patients with several times a week.Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and fatigue, are among the condition’s symptoms, which is fatal if left untreated, she said.
“You know if there is something wrong,” Ziembo said.Vergin said the girl had not seen a doctor since she was 3. Police have not had contact with the Neumann family in the past. A shortage of insulin causes the body to break down fat which produces toxic acids known as ketones, Ziembo said. Treatment generally takes a few days in the hospital as patients are given insulin intravenously and fluids are replaced, she said. People with Type 1 diabetes are at the highest risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Type 1 diabetes in children typically develops as a genetic condition that requires insulin treatments.
Type 2 diabetes patients are able to generate some insulin, but not enough. Type 2 typically develops as the result of a health issue and is often preventable, according to doctors.

2 holla'd back:

Cara said...

Oh How SAD! Didn't the Lord give us medicine to USE????!!! I can understand your feelings about this, especially when it hits so close to home. I am so thankful that Allie has you guys to take such good care of her. Even in our beliefs we don't tell people that a priesthood blessing will do the trick so don't seek medical attention! What were these parents thinking? Obviously, they weren't!!

We got rock today for our back yard -yeah! It will be a "back breaking" weekend...smiles. Love ya!


Anonymous said...

People like that make me sick to my stomach. If you have a child or a family member, you do everything and anything in the world to keep them alive-no matter what it takes. It probably won't happen, but I'd like to see them get manslaughter for that...based on ignorance.

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