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Tyler was just 10 years old when he noticed changes in his health. He was becoming increasingly thirsty and noticed his eyesight becoming fuzzy at night. After a visit to his pediatrician, he was diagnosed with high glucose and told to go straight to Deaconess for additional lab services and scans. After running several tests, Tyler was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and sent to Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis for education and training. The team at Riley spent the next few days teaching Tyler and his parents, Tim and Jennifer, how to adjust diets, check blood sugar levels, calculate for corrections, give insulin injections, handle emergencies, and adjust lifestyle.
“It was a crash course in diabetes 101,” said Jennifer. “This is our new reality; this is what we have to do. We moved forward and tried to help each other remember everything.”
After returning home to Newburgh, Tyler and his family started meeting with their regular care team at Deaconess Riley Children’s Services at Gateway Hospital. Physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, and others worked with Tyler to make sure he was comfortable and confident in his new diagnosis. The Roe family was thrilled to learn that the expert care they received at Riley Hospital was also available locally, including Dr. Sanchez who visits patients in Indianapolis and Southern Indiana.
“It was amazing!” shared Jennifer. “I’m sure that’s why our pediatrician had us go to Deaconess, so we could have expert local care.”
“Dr. Sanchez is very positive and supportive,” said Tim. “We appreciate that he’s interested in how Tyler is doing physically as well as emotionally.”
The family has made adjustments to educate themselves and make sure Tyler has all the support he needs. “We can’t say enough,” said Jennifer. “We are on our journey with Dr. Sanchez, Denise (Nurse Practitioner), Angie (Registered Nurse), and Deaconess Riley, and it has made all the difference. They are our partners on the journey…Denise makes us feel great about the progress we are making and offering suggestions of how to improve. The way that everyone treats the patients is just outstanding.”
“I just accepted this is what I need to do for the rest of my life. I just needed to start to learn,” said Tyler. His calm approach and the care shown by his hospital team has helped him lead a healthy and independent life.
Type 1 Diabetes Clinic Now Open at Deaconess Riley
The family was thrilled to learn that through generous donations from Riley Children’s Foundation, the Southwest Riley Philanthropy Council, and individual donors in the community, Deaconess Riley now offers education and training for Type 1 Diabetes families in the area. Families no longer have the expense, time, and stress of driving up to Indianapolis.
“You hear that your child has Type 1 Diabetes. You’re driving up there thinking 'oh my gosh!' When someone gets that diagnosis now, the fact that they can remain in the area is wonderful,” said Jennifer. “They’re so supportive. They’re saying ‘you’re doing the right things.’ It’s a matter of finding a good groove for your child and family.”
Now just past the third anniversary of his diagnosis, 14 year-old Tyler is doing well. He enjoys school, basketball, mountain biking, and spending time with family and friends. Tyler checks in with his Deaconess Riley care team every four months.
“Be confident through it.”
said Tyler. “Diabetes is definitely a change, a big change, but once you start living with it…I still have all my friends, I have basketball, I can eat the food I want but you have to make sure you know what you’re doing and plan it out. Stay on top of managing your blood sugar.” And through his care at Deaconess, Tyler and so many other pediatric patients are able to remain confident and independent.
Your Gifts Make a Difference
When you support Deaconess Foundation, you are making a direct impact in the lives of patients like Tyler. As you reflect on your year-end giving, we hope you will make the decision to be a partner in healthcare. 100% of your designated gift goes directly to patient and employee support. You made a difference.