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World Diabetes Day: Baby Parker’s Story

by Yvette Embleton

The 14th November is known across the globe as ‘World Diabetes Day’. This year we’ve spoken to one mummy who’d like to share the story of her baby’s type one diabetes diagnosis.


This is the story of the day that changed my little family’s life forever! I hope that it raises awareness for type one diabetes and that it helps other parents know what signs and symptoms to look out for. 


Credit: Adele Stephenson


Parker was only 10 1/2 months old when it all started. Over the Christmas period last year he had tonsillitis. He was generally unwell and had stopped taking his bottle etc. The Doctor gave us some medicine but he still wasn’t his usual self after the course. The only way I can describe it is to say that he was like a drunk baby and he was wanting a drink every 5 minutes. He would gulp a whole bottle within seconds, constantly wetting nappies and I noticed a change in his appetite; he seemed incredibly hungry all of the time. Over the next few days he hardly slept and was very emotional.

“My mother’s instinct kicked in and I knew something wasn’t right!”

In the New Year I took him back to the doctors to explain my concerns. It was decided that Parker had a viral infection. That night Parker did not sleep and at 4am I brought him downstairs. He had some breakfast and something to drink. Then at around 8.30am he started to become sleepy so I lay him beside me on the sofa. He drifted off to sleep.

My mother’s instinct kicked in and I knew something wasn’t right! I called my husband, David and we discussed taking him to A&E. After a phone call to 111 I tried to wake Parker up but he wasn’t moving. Not being able to wake him was the worst feeling I’ve ever felt. He wasn’t responding. I thought we’d lost him.

Credit: Adele Stephenson

“Parker had started to go into a diabetic coma.”

We were taken by ambulance to hospital and within seconds my baby was wired up to machines. I still can’t believe how much blood was taken for tests from my little 10 month old baby. The consultant was the first person to mention Diabetes to us. Parker had started to go into a diabetic coma. His ketone levels were so high it was causing his little body to shut down. Parker’s Pancreas had died and no longer give insulin. He was diagnosed with type one diabetes.

We stayed in hospital for what felt like the longest week of our lives while the Doctors and Nurses sorted out Parker’s medicinal needs and while myself and David were trained in everything we needed to keep out little boy alive and happy when we went home.

Credit: Adele Stephenson

The reality of the disease is that we have to count the carbohydrates in everything he eats and manually provide the correct about of insulin for his body. Every single time he eats something we have to monitor his blood sugar levels and try to prevent them from going too high or too low.

This is our emergency injection incase Parker’s blood sugar levels go too low and he fails to respond.

Credit: Adele Stephenson

Parker now wears an insulin machine and he also wears a Dexcom to give a blood reading. He has to wear a belt around his tummy with the machines on. What’s good about the machines is that we don’t have to prick his little fingers multiple times a day to take readings.

Type one diabetes is for life, and it’s something that as a family we’ve all had to come to terms with. It’s heartbreaking because Parker just takes it all in his stride and is a happy little boy.

“Parker’s our very own superhero”

Over the past year we would have been lost if it wasn’t for the fabulous funding from JDRF and the amazing help from the Niall Quinn Centre and Sunderland Royal Hospital. Together, they have not only enabled us to take care of our boy but they have saved his life. Thank you so much.

Credit: Adele Stephenson

For anyone who doesn’t know the difference between type one and type two, there are some great resources that only take a few moments to read (check out Diabetes UK). Arming yourself with even a little knowledge will not only help with societies general understand but make you aware of the signs and symptoms so you can help others.


Life is different now but Parker’s our very own superhero that wears a belt.

Credit: Adele Stephenson


For more information on type one diabetes, head over to Diabetes UK


Bump Baby and You would like to thank Adele for sharing Parker’s story with us.


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