Welsh mum Beth Baldwin was concerned when her 13-year-old son Peter fell ill, and seemed much sicker than a normal flu would typically make him. She took him to their doctor and he was diagnosed with a chest infection and given antibiotics, but instead of improving, Peter just got worse.
Photo: Beth Baldwin
On New Year’s Day 2015, a worried Baldwin did what so many of us do when we’re unsure of our parenting—she called her own mom to come over and give advice. Alarmed at Peter’s state, Beth’s mom advised calling the ambulance immediately. Beth tells what happened next in her own words on BBC.com, “A first responder arrived at our house and one of the first things he did after giving Peter oxygen was prick Peter’s finger for a blood test. Within 30 seconds of coming he had diagnosed him as having type 1 diabetes – a condition where the body doesn’t produce enough insulin.”
That’s right—although Peter DID have a chest infection, that wasn’t what was making him so ill. His doctor had stopped his exam of Peter too soon, hadn’t asked enough questions, and did not have him tested for anything else.
The next few days were spent in the hospital trying to keep Peter’s organs from shutting down, but sadly, it was already too late.
“I was told he was in a DKA – diabetic ketoacidosis – which is when your body starts to shut down if you haven’t had insulin and it can lead to organ failure,” Baldwin says.
Peter’s little body gave up after six days, and Baldwin and her husband’s lives were shattered forever.