A MOTHER whose son has diabetes has urged parents to beware of the symptoms of the disease.
To mark World Diabetes Day today, Hayley Smith, 34, got in touch with The News to help raise awareness after her son, Jacob-Kanu, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes five years ago, at the age of three.
Jacob was drinking a lot from an early age.Hayley Smith
Hayley, from Havant, said she was suspicious something wasn’t right with Jacob, despite doctors insisting everything was fine on multiple occasions.
She said: ‘Jacob was drinking a lot from an early age.
‘However, the doctor used to tell me that there was nothing wrong and it was that he was a child who was thirsty.
‘It took Jacob longer to become potty trained because he was unable to come out of nappies he was going to the toilet so often.
‘I knew that he had some sort of condition that was affecting him for about six months.’
Hayley reflected on the moment Jacob was diagnosed with diabetes following a visit to Queen Alexandra Hospital.
She was told that if she had left it hours later, her son could have died.
‘One morning, Jacob woke up breathing really heavily and I knew something was up,’ said Hayley.
‘I took him to the hospital immediately. He walked in okay with us and was chatting away – hours later he was on a drip and had to spend two weeks in QA.
‘We were told he was suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a potentially life-threatening condition when the body does not have enough insulin.
‘As soon as the hospital did the finger-prick check, they diagnosed him as a diabetic.
Jacob, now eight, whose middle name is in honour of Pompey’s 2008 FA Cup final hero Kanu, has to take regular insulin injections in school and can spend time in hospital if he catches a bug.
She has also said that staff at St Thomas More Primary School, in Bedhampton, have been brilliant helping accommodate his needs.
‘It was hard to start with when Jacob was diagnosed but now he never complains and doesn’t remember what is was like before,’ said Hayley.
‘His school have been fantastic to accommodate all of his needs and he gets great support from the paediatric team at QA.
‘I would tell all parents to watch out for the signs if they believe that their child may have diabetes.
‘Go and get your child’s finger pricked immediately at the doctors – it could save their life.’
Amie Ridd, Jacob’s year four teacher, said: ‘We accommodate for Jacob to make sure that he is just like everyone else.
‘There’s a lot of staff at the school who know how to treat Jacob and he is a really happy child.’
Colin Flanagan, head teacher at St Thomas Moore, added: ‘Everybody at the school is made aware about any condition a child has.
‘We make sure that everyone is well and nothing gets in the way of their education.’
Other symptoms of Type 1 diabetes include extreme weakness and/or tiredness, abdominal pain, nausea and/or vomiting, blurred vision, and wounds that don’t heal well.