School nurse and principal go above and beyond to help student suffering medical condition

Published: Nov. 5, 2018 at 10:28 PM CST
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A Pleasant Valley Junior High School nurse and principal are getting high praise for going above and beyond their duties to help a student suffering from a medical condition.

Grayson Karrer, 12, was diagnosed with Type One Diabetes five-years-ago. He's one of about 1.2 million people living with the condition. He monitors his condition with the help of a device called Dexcom. Last Thursday, it proved critical.

"It was kind of a disaster from the beginning," Grayson said.

While on the bus ride home from school, Grayson's blood sugar dropped to about 40/mg/dL. The University of Michigan Health Department says levels that low are dangerous.

"You may become too weak or confused to eat something with sugar to raise your blood sugar level," the school's website says. "Anytime your blood sugar drops below 50 mg/dL, you should act whether you have symptoms or not."

Grayson's mother Jonnikka was alerted to the low blood sugar by her husband who got an alert from the Dexcom Device. She was driving from a nearby town. Minutes after the call from her husband came a call from the Pleasant Valley Junior High School nurse. She was concerned with Grayson's dropping levels and made a decision that went above and beyond.

"We are going to find the bus," Jonnikka recalled the nurse saying. "I've got somebody else on our team," she said describing the feeling she had when the nurse said those words. "I have somebody else backing us up."

With the school principal with her, the nurse set out to find Grayson. They called the bus barn to let them know of the situation and told the driver they'd be meeting Grayson at his bus stop. They missed him by minutes, arriving at the location after Grayson was already home. Not finding Grayson at the bus stop, they went to his home where his blood sugar was leveling out.

"What they did was more than I could have asked for," Jonnikka said. "I can't think them enough."

Grayson returned to school the next door. He's still having issues here and there with his blood sugar, but he's thankful he has people like his nurse and principal watching out for him.

"I thanked her then and she is being too humble about it but she really helped then," he said.

"It means everything to me," Jonnikka said. "It could have ended much worse. It could have been he passed out when he got off the bus and no one seen him or knew what to do."

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. The Karrer's want everyone to know the symptoms of the disease.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation lists them as:

- Frequent urination

- Increased thirst

- Dry mouth

- Itchy or dry skin

- Increased appetite

- Unexplained weight loss

- Yeast infections

Anyone with symptoms should see their doctor.

"(A diagnoses) might seem like a lot at first, but it does get better," Grayson said. "You will learn to deal with it and it gets easier."

Grayson's Dexcom device checks his blood sugar every six-minutes. It can alert up to five people of any issues. His mother, father, grandmother and school nurse are all recipients of those alerts.