Patient Story: Gabby

By the time Gabby was 16 months old, she had been sick for a few months and couldn’t seem to catch a break. She developed a mild case of hand, foot, and, mouth disease but her family was concerned about how sick she was getting with the infection. She was brought to HSN’s Emergency Department three days after her symptoms began getting worse and she was experiencing an upset stomach, laboured breathing, and the inability to stay awake or eat.

After the initial intake process at the hospital, nurses immediately jumped into action. Gabby required bloodwork, which had to be drawn from a vein in her head as she was severely dehydrated. She was then diagnosed with diabetic ketoacidosis (also known as DKA), a serious and life-threatening complication from the body not receiving enough insulin to break down glucose, resulting in her diagnosis of type 1 diabetes and an overnight stay in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

The next day Gabby’s blood sugars were stabilized enough for her to be transferred to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) to meet with support staff, nurses, pediatricians, and the NEO Kids diabetes team while her potassium levels were being monitored.

“For the first couple of nights, we felt absolutely helpless and we truly had to trust the HSN staff with our daughter’s life. Once we got to the NICU, met with the diabetes team, and got the education binder – it felt a lot better. We felt supported and still very much do. They are truly angels on earth. We would be in a lot worse shape without all the support we were shown,” says Caitlin, Gabby’s mom.

Now two years old, Gabby celebrated her recent birthday with a princess theme. Gabby continues to receive treatment from HSN and meets with the NEO Kids diabetes team four times a year. Although hoping for a cure one day, Gabby’s family is hopeful that new technology will develop to make it easier for her to manage her diabetes. As Gabby grows, the NEO Kids team at HSN will remain a key partner in her health and her family is grateful for the great care.

The NEO Kids and Family Program offers a variety of programs and services to help treat the complex needs of children and ensure that children become better and stay better. Through the support of our donor community, younger patients like Gabby will continue to receive the care they need closer to home.

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