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Meet a Miracle Kid – Austin!

We have families that go above and beyond to share how Stormont Vail’s programs and services have helped them. When you give to Children’s Miracle Network at Stormont Vail Health, you’re helping kids like Austin, one of our miracle kids. In November, groups across the world focus their attention on diabetes by mobilizing during National Diabetes Awareness Month; we want to join the movement and celebrate Austin, his family, and their strength. Check out Austin’s story below!

Austin was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes on January 19, 2017. Type 1 is a chronic, auto-immune disease where the body attacked insulin-producing cells in the pancreas. His body, as a type 1 diabetic, produces very little to no insulin. After diagnosed, Austin spent three days in the hospital not only receiving insulin and fluids. He and his family spent hours with doctors, nurses, and diabetes educators learning how to make this their new norm.

Careful consideration is taken for his surroundings and intake of food. Stress, mood, weather, and activity are all factors that affect his blood sugar.  Any insulin given in wrong proportions can be fatal. It is crucial that each dose is calculated correctly and his blood levels are monitored. There is no cure for this disease, so he is insulin-dependent for the rest of his life.

Anytime Austin visits a friend’s or family member’s home, communication must be strong and emphasized. All caregivers are carefully trained on administering insulin and emergency pens. They know to look for signs and symptoms that may hint at Austin needing his levels checked. Austin’s 504 plan is also always updated at school. Classroom teachers monitor a 504 plan. A student with an IEP, as part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act may receive different educational services in a special or regular educational setting, depending on the student’s needs. There is constant communication between Austin’s teachers, nurses, principal, and parents.

Austin is under the care of his endocrinology team at Cotton O’Neil Clinic and Stormont Vail Health, visiting them every three months for re-evaluation of blood numbers and A1C. He is tested yearly for other autoimmune diseases including by not limited to Celiac disease and Thyroid disease. Research at Stormont Vail Health has increased dramatically as it pertains to diabetes. The endocrinology office has begun testing siblings in order to hopefully catch the disease sooner, slow it down, and long-term stop it from occurring. Each visit with the Stormont Vail Health team allows the family to grow in knowledge of the disease that they can then use to help care for Austin.

Austin remains very active in baseball and basketball. He loves playing soccer with his peers at recess and with his little brother. Austin enjoys art, reading, math, and video games. Austin and his family remain positive throughout this journey. They have embraced this learning experience and used it to educate others about the disease. His parents have spoken with Austin’s class to help them understand his routine. They volunteer with the local Lion’s Club to educate peers on the dangers associated with diabetes and not being tested or treated. With type 1 diabetes, there is so much to learn and so many factors involved. The team at Stormont Vail Health has moved mountains for this family, always leading them in the right direction, keeping Austin safe and healthy. “I’m not asking why, but rather asking myself how I can make a difference,” has been the family’s motto from day one. Their goal is to continue a positive outlook on life no matter what is handed to them.