PARK HILLS — Four-year-old Molly Drennen wants a dog.
Not just any dog, her family is raising money to get a Diabetic Alert Dog from Warren Retrievers that will alert Molly’s mom whenever Molly’s blood sugar gets too high or too low.
On Oct. 28, Molly’s mother, Joanna Adams, took Molly to the hospital. She thought Molly had the flu.
Molly was sore all over and was throwing up. One hospital diagnosed her with an upper respiratory infection and sent her home.
Later that day, Adams took Molly to the other area hospital and the staff there immediately smelled a fruity odor on her breath and recognized it as ketoacidosis.
This occurs when the body cannot use sugar as a fuel source because there is no insulin or not enough insulin. Byproducts of fat breakdown called ketones build up in the body.
Her blood sugar was at 1,300, way above what it should have been. A helicopter took her to Children’s Hospital where she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes.
“She would have died that night if I hadn’t taken her to the hospital,” Adams said.
Adams, a licensed EMT, had noticed Molly had been thirsty lately and started wetting the bed. She knew thirst and frequent urination were signs of diabetes. She also knew diabetes ran in Molly’s family.
Molly, who was already thin, lost almost 10 pounds.
Adams said the first couple weeks of managing Molly’s diabetes was hard. It’s gotten a lot easier but daycares don’t want to take Molly because she’s “a liability issue.”
Molly, with a smile on her face, said she doesn’t like taking her blood sugar or getting her insulin but she does like eating snacks during the day.
Adams wants Molly to have an alert dog because she knows Molly can go from normal to 30 in no time. She said a dog can sense the change before Molly’s body can feel it and show signs.
“This will be a constant guardian angel watching over my girl,” she said.
If not carefully watched, diabetes could lead to kidney failure, coma or death.
They need $1,000 to get on the waiting list for a dog. It will cost $20,000 to get the dog.
Adams hopes to sell wristbands and have a poker run. They will have a booth at Country Days selling ribbons, wristbands, and raffle tickets for an Esteban guitar.
A Texas Hold-Em tournament they planned for May 12 had to be canceled but they made $114 at a yard sale they had in Washington County recently.
Donations for Molly’s Guardian Angel will be accepted at Unico Bank. The donations are tax-deductible.
You can also contact Adams at 573-854-0399 or for large donations, you can visit http://www.guardianangelsevicedogs.com. There’s also a Molly’s Guardian Angel Facebook page.
Adams learned about Warren’s Retrievers and Guardian Angel Service Dogs from her landlord, Bonita Mahurin, whose grandson is also raising money to get a Diabetic Alert Dog.
Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.