BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – Beckley resident Suzanne Adkins did not know what she was in for when her 6-year-old daughter Charity got COVID-19.
Mistaking what later became Type 1 diabetes symptoms for lingering symptoms of the virus, Charity entered a fatal state known as DKA, diabetic ketoacidosis. It’s a condition that often occurs when Type 1 diabetes goes unchecked.
Fortunately, Suzanne figured out what was wrong with her daughter before it was too late.
“I got her there and her blood sugar at that time was 300,” Adkins says. “They transferred us to Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Charleston where she was officially diagnosed as a Type 1 diabetic.”
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that viral infections can bring to the surface. Adkins learned that more people are getting diagnosed with type 1 since the onset of COVID-19 two years ago.
Like COVID, it’s often mistaken for the flu or a cold, making the warning signs of the disease critical to understand.
“I honestly, as a parent, just didn’t even think blood sugar until the last few days before I took her to the pediatrician,” she says. “I was just thinking that it was still her recovering from this viral infection.”
Adkins is currently working with a global diabetes non-profit, Beyond Type 1 as an advocate for the Warning Signs Campaign. She hopes that through the effort she can help to save other children like her daughter.
“I hope that parents see it and they get to rule that out, but I hope that another mom who has no idea sees it and saves their child’s life.”
Charity is now a healthy 7-year-old.