A Missouri mother is speaking out about the devastating death of her 2-year-old daughter, who she learned died as a result of undiagnosed type 1 diabetes.
Sierra Greenlee, of Kansas, Missouri, wrote about the painful experience in a Facebook post last week, in which she shared several photos of her smiling daughter, Arya Greenlee. Sierra wrote that she was picking Arya up after the toddler had spent a week with her father. She met with the babysitter on March 22 and found that Arya was not breathing.
“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,” Sierra wrote, noting that paramedics worked on Arya’s “limp” body for about 15 minutes before she was taken to a local hospital
“It was the most surreal moments in my life. I thought of what it would be like to plan my child’s funeral and all the things I would miss out on.”
At the hospital, a doctor delivered the news that would change her life forever: “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. Everything I was was in that little girl,” the grieving mom continued in the post. “She was my absolute pride and joy. If you asked me how I was doing it would usually go something like I’m good, my daughter…. But in that moment I couldn’t feel anything it was like my heart had stopped too. I was an empty shell. The shock was overwhelming.”
After running a series of tests, doctors confirmed that Arya had type 1 diabetes that had not been diagnosed, Sierra recalled. The toddler’s blood sugar levels were in a dangerous range. Sierra wrote that she soon learned that the illness went undiagnosed because doctors “don’t typically test until [kids] are school age and show signs.”
Signs of type 1 diabetes in children tend to develop quickly, according to the Mayo Clinic. The symptoms include weight loss, extreme hunger, increased thirst and frequent urination, fatigue, behavior changes and yeast infections. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, type 1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in children, teens and young adults.
Sierra wrote that she was confused by the diagnosis, nothing that doctors said Arya had slipped into a coma “and her little body was unable to fight it’s way out, and it gave out.”
“So I beg you to ask your child’s doctor to test for it,” she concluded the post. “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.’