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Tommy’s type 1 diabetes story

tommy painting
05 December 2019

Meet Tommy. He’s three (nearly four!) and is the one with the big chocolate ice cream!

Eli and his brother tommy eating ice cream

As his mum Jessica puts it: “He’s an absolute delight, he’s caring and lots of fun. Tommy has a younger brother, Eli, who he loves very much.”

This time last year, Tommy was having some routine blood tests after feeling very unwell. On the evening of 13 December 2018, Tommy’s GP said that his results had come in and that he should be taken to Sheffield Children’s Emergency Department (ED).

Jessica said: “Our world was turned upside down and we were given the news that our little boy was type 1 diabetic. The fantastic staff assessed and started treating him immediately; stabilising Tommy and trying to eliminate the dangerous ketones in his blood.”

After this, Tommy moved to Ward 3 for five days, where he started to meet the Diabetes Team.

Jessica said: “We were seen regularly by various members of the Diabetes Team, who we have come to know well now. They are a fantastic team and so very supportive.”

The team showed Tommy and his family how to treat his diabetes in day-to-day life. This included teaching them how to carbohydrate count and base insulin doses on the amount of carbohydrates Tommy eats, how to test his blood by pricking his finger, how to inject him with insulin, treat hypoglycaemic episodes and all the other aspects involved in his care.

Jessica added: “Everyone was incredibly friendly and made Tommy feel at ease. The nursing staff were absolutely wonderful and their care was outstanding. Tommy also took part in arranged activities, such as crafts and music provided by Artfelt and attended a magic show; all of these things made his stay in hospital a much more pleasant experience. We are extremely thankful for the ongoing support of all the staff at Sheffield Children’s, they really all are wonderful.”

Sheffield Childrens

Adjusting to life with Tommy’s type 1 diabetes was hard at first for Jessica but Tommy took it in his stride. The devices he needs to monitor his condition are both waterproof which means he can still go swimming and keep doing his other favourite activities.

Tommy’s care at Sheffield Children’s is continuing and most recently he spent eight days staying at the hospital. This was after a tummy bug meant Tommy couldn’t eat and his blood sugars dropped dangerously low.

Jessica said: “The doctors and nurses got Tommy’s ketones under control via intravenous fluids and were able to administer IV dextrose at times when his blood sugars were dangerously low. The Diabetes Team altered his insulin doses and provided support to us when we left the hospital.

“We are extremely thankful for the ongoing support of all the staff at Sheffield Children’s, they really all are wonderful. Tommy even says that when he grows up he wants to be a doctor.”

Who knows, maybe we’ll see Tommy in scrubs in a few years’ time! You can find out more about how our Diabetes Team provides care for patients on our website:

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