health

"If I hadn’t followed my instincts, I’d be planning my daughter's funeral."

When Jessie Leigh-Jay Ashleigh took her frail 3-year-old daughter to hospital on Monday, with a suspected virus – as diagnosed by her local GP – little did she know her daughter was mere moments away from death.

Jessie’s daughter Mia is currently being treated in a Sydney hospital’s intensive care unit and has now been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. A condition that will affect the toddler, and her family, for the rest of their lives.

Jessie, from North St Marys, on Sydney’s outskirts, said she wanted to share her story with to warn other parents to follow their instincts when it comes to the health and well-being of their children.

“Follow your instincts. If I hadn’t followed mine yesterday I would have lost my daughter,” she said.

Jessie says her daughter started to show signs of being unwell on Friday, “She wouldn’t eat, just constantly wanted to drink water or sleep. She wasn’t her happy bubbly self.”

“She was fully toilet trained, but for these three days would always wet herself every two minutes. The next day [Saturday] she woke up and she was still the same but this time vomiting everything she drank back up, a lot more weaker than the day before. We took her to the doctors. And he told us she was coming down with a virus and there are more symptoms to come. So he gave us a script for medication,” Jessie shared via social media.

Mia, in hospital after being diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Image supplied.

"Sunday morning she was worse and couldn't stand on her own without wobbling. Wouldn't walk to anyone. Could just get her to take one step and then she'd fall. She was so weak. She lost all colour, went pale and had grey bags under her eyes. I thought, 'This isn't a virus'," Jessie wrote.

"I got her medication, and started it straight away. Less than an hour later (at this time we were at her cousin’s 2nd birthday) she vomited again. And I thought, 'That's it, I'm taking her to the hospital.' And so we did," the message read.

Jessie said medical professionals knew something wasn’t right from the moment she and Mia presented to hospital.

"They took her straight in, asked us questions, what's been happening, how long has she been like this etc. So we told them. And also mentioned we were told it was a virus she had caught. Well, a few minutes later, bloods taken and test done (with struggle as her veins were so thin and blood was so dry), she was diagnosed with TYPE 1 DIABETES. I was shocked," Jessie explained.

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"We asked the nurse what would have happened if we continued to think it was just a virus and kept her home on medicine. She then told us; 'One more hour and she would have slipped unconscious and passed away in her sleep.' I was lost for words, didn't know what to say, just started crying. She wouldn't open her eyes or even talk back to either of us or the nurses she was just too weak," Jessie said.

Jessie with her daughter Mia. Image supplied.

"After she was stabilised at Nepean Hospital, she was then later transferred to Sydney Children's Hospital in Randwick. I was given a room to sleep in, while she was two floors down. I didn't want to leave her but I had to. The doctor said she'll need me a lot more tomorrow and it's best I get some sleep. So I did," Jessie shared.

"I went down to her this morning and she's got colour back in her face she's responding to questions and she's looking around lifting her arms etc. I was so happy," Jessie continued.

Jessie says her daughter is a diabetic, "For life now and has to have insulin injections every day."

"If that's what it takes to keep my daughter alive then that's what I'll do," she said.

Her message to other parents is to, "Always follow your instincts."

"If I hadn't, I wouldn't be sitting in a hospital today with my darling daughter - instead I’d be planning her funeral. But thankfully I am not," Jessie said.

"[I’m] not sure how long she will be in hospital. The rest we are still uncertain about until she's out of the ICU," Jessie said. Jessie will also look into whether the GP’s alleged misdiagnosis is an issue that needs addressing.

"Because of that I could have lost her, would I be wrong to take this matter further? I think I have every right," she asked via social media.

What would be your reaction? Have you had a similar experience as a parent? 

This post originally appeared on Gold Coast Mum.

According to the Mayo Clinic, Type 1 diabetes in children is a condition in which a child's pancreas no longer produces the insulin the child needs to survive, and where the missing insulin needs to be replaced.

Possible symptoms of Type 1 Diabetes in children:

  • Frequent urination, large amounts
  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth
  • Weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Feeling tired or weak
  • Nappy rash that continues despite medicated cream
  • Stomach aches
  • Nausea and vomiting

If you have any concerns, please seek medical advice.

For further information about juvenile diabetes, visit JDRF.