Mother whose child died suddenly at age two has a warning for parents

“I beg you to ask your child's doctor to test for it”

Content Editor / September 26 2018

Sierra Greenlee was on her way back from work to pick up her daughter from a babysitter on March 22, 2018. It was a day like any other, or so she thought.

When she arrived at the house, her babysitter carried little two-year-old Arya out in her arms, seemingly fast asleep after a big day.

“In an offhanded way I asked if she was breathing, joking,” Sierra shared on her Facebook page. “Until I put my hand on her little chest and I felt no movement.

“In that moment I completely freaked out. I couldn't finish a thought. I knew I needed to get her back inside and start CPR.”

After 15 frantic minutes of doing chest compressions, emergency responders arrived and took over. They spent the next hour desperately trying to bring Arya back to life, then rushed her to hospital.

“I was there for maybe 10 minutes before a doctor came in say [sic] down beside me and said the words that would forever change my world, he said ‘we did everything we could but unfortunately we were unable to revive her and she did not survive.’”

Sierra went to see her darling daughter and spent time cuddling her, singing to her and running her hands through her hair. After some time, medical staff came in and informed her that her daughter had had undiagnosed Type 1 Diabetes and her blood sugar level was in the 500's (five times the healthy amount).

There were no obvious signs Arya had diabetes and nor did it run in their family, so she had never been tested for it.

“They don't typically test until they are school age and show signs. Unless of course it runs in the family,” Sierra said.

“The signs for diabetes in toddlers are they drink a lot and pee a lot and are tired. These signs are easily missed and overlooked because most toddlers do these things. The test is a simple blood sugar test that you have to request at their wellness check-up.

“So I beg you to ask your child's doctor to test for it. I beg you to become aware of the signs and symptoms of childhood diabetes. No parent should ever have to hear the words 'I'm sorry but unfortunately she did not survive.'"

Nicola Conville has worked as a journalist and editor for more than 20 years across a wide range of print and online publications. Her areas of expertise are parenting, health and travel. She has two children; Lucy, age eight, and Nathan, age five.