Wall of Hope: Stories of Courage & Inspiration
“My initial feeling was why? How come – how did this happen? This is a joke! I was terrified, worried, confused and upset at myself. How could I let this happen to my baby?!” remembers Sacha Cruz of the moment she learned that her 3-year-old, Ezekiel, had Type 1 diabetes.
Though the diagnosis came as a shock, Sacha says she had suspected “Zeeky” could be suffering from the autoimmune disease when she first started noticing symptoms days prior.
“She was sick for three days. She was lethargic, her face was pale, she was quiet and not acting like herself. During these three days, I was keeping track of how many times she went shishi and drank water,” Sacha recounts. “On the fourth day, I scheduled a doctor’s appointment and told the doctor I wanted Zeeky to be tested for childhood diabetes. We did bloodwork and played the waiting game.”
Within hours Zeeky’s doctor called with heart-wrenching news – she did, in fact have Type 1 diabetes.
“Her blood sugar count was at 599. I asked the doctor what is normal, and she told me 80. Holy smokes! I felt my heart dropped and my eyes filled with tears!” Sacha says.
Zeeky needed medical attention immediately.
Her blood sugar count was at 599 ... Holy smokes! I felt my heart dropped and my eyes filled with tears!”
An ambulance rushed Sacha and Zeeky to Kapiolani Medical Center for Women & Children, where a team was waiting to take her to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit to administer insulin.
Zeeky remained at Kapiolani for four days, during which she was monitored to ensure her blood sugar levels returned to a healthy level.
She and her mom also received diabetes education from Dr. Greg Uramoto and a dietitian so that they could be comfortable and confident with their new reality.
“Dr. Uramoto was very understanding on how overwhelming the new diagnosis was,” Sacha says. “The emotional support I got gave me the confidence to be able to care for her at home. The medical staff answered all questions with patience and understanding, and comforted me when I needed it. They also offered to watch Zeeky for me while I went to take a nap and just relax."
Three years later, Zeeky and her family have adjusted splendidly.
“We both have a system – Zeeky is able to do everything but inject herself. We are working on this so she is fully independent in caring for herself,” Sacha says. “Of course, I will still be there to oversee her care, but our goal is for her to be able to fully care for herself.”
The emotional support I got gave me the confidence to be able to care for her at home."
Sacha adds that she has learned from this experience that there is no such thing as a wrong question, and to trust your instincts when it comes to the health of yourself and your child.
“Ask lots and lots of questions – fully understanding your child’s diagnosis is very important,” she says. “Do not stop asking questions until you are satisfied with the answer. We need to be the voice for our children!”
Published on: October 21, 2019