MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Murfreesboro mother took vacation to spend spring break with her five children, but now she’s planning a funeral for one of them after a common but treatable childhood illness.
Angela Elizabeth Robinson, 11, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes too late, and she died suddenly over the weekend.
Mother Darla Robinson flipped through a tiny book of memories of her daughter Angela Elizabeth, reflecting on her life.
“She was a sweet girl, enjoyed being playful and listening to music,” Robinson said.
She said there is comfort knowing Angela lived her 11 years of life to the fullest.
“That’s the type of person who was, very kind, enjoyed life,” Robinson said.
For the most part, Angela hadn’t had any major illnesses until now.
“She was a normal healthy 11-year-old up until Monday of this past week,” Robinson said.
That’s when Angela became sick and began having muscle spasms.
Her mom took her to the doctor Tuesday of last week where she was prescribed some medicine and told her to drink plenty of fluids.
She had gotten worse by Wednesday.
“I went to go check on her and she didn’t respond to me so we had to get her to the hospital as quick as possible,” she said. “She was diagnosed with on-set juvenile diabetes and she went into diabetic ketoacidosis and was unable to recover.”
Her blood sugar was 1,600 and doctors couldn’t get it down.
“She died at Vanderbilt hospital at 2:57 Saturday morning,” Robinson said as she teared up.
Type 1, or juvenile diabetes, is more common than you may think, and can develop quickly, according to doctors.
More than 200,000 cases were diagnosed each year in the United States.
Dr. Adam Childs with TriStar Family Medicine, located on Medical Center Parkway Murfreesboro, said parents know their children better than anyone so pay attention to the warning signs.
“What we watch out for is excess thirst, frequency urination, having a child that’s very hungry often, but despite all that, that child may be losing a lot of weight,” Childs said.
Childs said other things to watch out for if a child is fatigue, or moody.
There is no cure for diabetes, but it’s easily treatable.
“It’s important to get it treated because if you don’t treat it, it can have some very severe and devastating consequences,” the doctor said.
The Oakland Middle School student had hoped to one day to become a doctor to help other.
“Even though she won’t fulfill her dream of being a doctor, she did fulfill at least that part of the dream, to help some other child out there who may have been in need,” Robinson said. “One of her organs, her pancreas was donated to a doctor who is doing research in the area to hopefully find a way to fix the problem.”
Robinson said she wasn’t prepared to bury one of her children and she doesn’t have life insurance.
The Oakland community has come together and started a GoFundMe account to help the family with funeral expenses.Click here to donate.