SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – It started as any other Friday morning. Lauren Fontaine was getting her two kids — six and eight years old — ready for school.
Lauren has been living with type 1 diabetes for 22 years. While helping her kids, Lauren said she felt her blood sugar might be dropping so she grabbed some apple juice. But that’s all she remembers.
“Best case scenario, I would’ve slipped into a diabetic coma and then maybe woken up a couple days later,” Lauren said. “But worst case, I wouldn’t have woken up at all.”
Lauren later learned her blood sugar was reading at half below what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considers a “severe low,” which caused her to seize and lose consciousness.
That’s when 8-year-old Nolan sprung into action and called 911.
“I was walking to the door, I saw her shaking so I knew something had to be done because she never shakes normally,” he said.
Type 1 diabetes is less common than type 2, with just 10% of diabetics having the autoimmune disease, according to the CDC.
If you have it, your pancreas doesn’t make insulin. There’s no way to prevent or cure type 1, meaning you have to monitor your blood sugar and take insulin shots (or wear a pump) every day.
“You act like your own pancreas because your pancreas is no longer producing the hormone insulin,” Lauren said. “You’re your own doctor 24/7, 365 and it’s a lot. And it can be scary when moments like this happen.”
Lauren said managing type 1 is unpredictable. But she’s thankful for her 8-year-old son, who she now calls her hero.
“I got home and I just kind of grabbed him and hugged him so tight and I was like ‘I’m so proud of you because you did this amazing thing for your mom,'” Lauren said. “He did everything right.”
“It does feel good,” Nolan said. “I feel like a hero.”
Lauren said technology, such as a continuous blood sugar monitor, could have helped her avoid a scary situation like this, but it can be unaffordable for some. The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) found in the United States, $16 billion is spent every year on type 1 diabetes medical care.