A QUICK-THINKING Hartlepool family knew exactly what to do when their daughter came down with rare symptoms – because their youngest daughter had already gone through exactly the same health fight.
Seaton Carew mum Vikki Owens has had to watch TWO of her children battle with diabetes – and both were aged under five when they were diagnosed.
It was touch and go for a while but she is doing really well now
In a freak coincidence, Vikki’s daughter Lucy became the youngest in the North East for decades when she was diagnosed at eight months old and then Violet went through exactly the same thing at four years old.
The double drama has unfolded in the last two years. First, Lucy was diagnosed a year and a half ago.
Her condition worsened overnight and her eyes became dark and sunk so parents Vikki and Jonathan took her to their GP where she was transferred straight to the University Hospital of North Tees, in Stockton.
Vikki said doctors had to drill into her leg through the shin bone so that they could get the fluids into her body. Then, the family was told that Lucy was facing three options - she would either pull through, be brain damaged or she could die.
Devastated Vikki and Jonathan kept a bedside vigil alongside Lucy as she slipped in and out of a coma. Thankfully she finally started to come round, and her family said that was “just the best feeling ever.”
She became the youngest in the North East to be diagnosed over the past 30 years. She was fitted with an insulin pump which she will have to wear for the rest of her life unless she later opts for injections to treat the diabetes.
But in another astonishing twist, Lucy’s older sister Violet was diagnosed with diabetes.
At just four years old, she complained of being really thirsty on New Year’s Day this year. But Vikki knew exactly what to do and gave her daughter a finger prick test to determine her blood glucose.
And whereas a normal level should be between four and eight, Violet’s was 27.8. She was taken straight to the University Hospital of North Tees and stayed in overnight, while tests were run to confirm it.
Vikki said: “I was devastated. She came downstairs and said ‘I am very thirsty. She had just had a big drink and I checked her with the fingerprint test and I checked her sugars.
“We took her to hospital and she had to stay in overnight.”
Thanks to Vikki’s intervention, Violet’s condition was diagnosed early and, like her sister, she is doing well.
Vikki added: “We have to watch what they both eat and tell them no.”
She said both daughters now have to be careful when they have sweet things such as ice cream, and it was thanks to Lucy’s fight for life that she knew exactly what to do in Violet’s case.
Now, Lucy’s inspiring story has won her a nomination for this year’s Best of Hartlepool awards. Make your nominations here
Lucy’s our record breaker
LUCY Owens is a record breaker for her astonishing fight with diabetes – but she’s doing it with a constant smile on her face.
The two-year-old from Hartlepool, who has had Type 1 diabetes since she was eight-months old, was the youngest person in the North-East for 20 years to have the diagnosis.
She handles a daily routine of four insulin injections, plus regular pin prick tests to determine her glucose levels are safe.
Proud mum Vikki Owens, from Ripon Close, in Seaton Carew, said: “She just gets on with it because that is all she has known, all her life.
“I think she is courageous. She is a very happy little girl. Each day, I say to her ‘come on, it’s time for an injection’ and she gets herself ready for it.”
It’s a complete mystery as to how Lucy came to have the condition as there is no history of it in either Vikki or dad Jonathan’s families.
Vikki said: “Lucy was the first person in our family to get diabetes and we didn’t know what it was when she was so poorly.
“She’s coming on lovely now. It was touch and go with her for a while but we are coping now and we have lots of help from the nurses and doctors.”
Vikki, who is also mum to five-year-old Violet Owens and eight-year-old Grace Owens, who both attend Golden Flatts Primary School in Hartlepool, was delighted when we told her Lucy had become the first person to be nominated for this year’s Best of Hartlepool competition.
Lucy is a contender in the Child of Courage category and Vikki said: “I am over the moon. I am really happy that Lucy has been nominated.”
Vikki and her husband Jonathan, an electrician at Hartlepool Power Station, have thanked the medics who saved Lucy’s life.
This year’s awards will culminate with a grand finale at the Hardwick Hall in Sedgefield on April 30 this year.
But before then, we need lots of entries and people have until this Friday to come forward with deserving causes in categories which range from fundraiser of the year to child of courage, and green champion to local hero.
After the deadline passes, a panel of judges will get together to draw up a shortlist. For now, we want you to inundate us with entries.
You can make your nominations here: http://www.jpne-events.co.uk/hartlepool/