Mum starts campaign to buy life-changing machine for son
COMPLICATIONS from Type 1 diabetes have left nine-year-old Deakin Jonkers furiously fighting for life three times.
Deakin suffers from ketoacidosis, a potentially life-threatening medical condition.
So serious is his illness, the Central School student's life is filled with hospital visits and his mother's filled with fear.
His condition can be exacerbated by simple infections and other illnesses and requires multiple daily finger prick tests and insulin injections to control his unpredictable blood sugar levels.
The solution to giving the Warwick boy a normal life is a special insulin pump, but the $10,000 price tag is beyond his mother's reach.
The device, which would attach to Deakin's stomach, would regulate insulin levels and end frequent hospital visits. It would also allow his mum to find work.
Single mum of four Diane Whitby said her son's medical rollercoaster began three years ago.
"He was really sick at home so I went to the doctors, but they just sent him home and said he was tired and a little sick," she said.
"The same the next day, but on the third day he was worse so we went to the hospital.
"After some quick tests they told me they needed to rush him to Toowoomba Hospital.
"If I hadn't taken him anywhere that day he might not have made it."
Miss Whitby said that ambulance trip was terrifying.
"The paramedic had to save him three times on the way and was asking the driver to get there as fast as they could," she said.
"I was so upset and scared. I really had no idea what was happening."
Miss Whitby said her son needed constant monitoring, which left her unable to work.
"I never know when I'm going to get a call from the school," she said.
"If Deakin's levels get too high, then he can pass out and if it's left untreated he will lapse into a coma."
Miss Whitby said she found out about the insulin pump last week when it was recommended by the family's diabetes educator.
"There is funding available from the Junior Diabetes Reseach Fund but we've missed the deadline," she said.
"I've never asked anyone for help before but the cost for the pump, $10,000, is way out of my league, so I thought I'd give gofundme a try, as well as doing some of my own fundraisers and raffles."
Miss Whitby said her son used to be a bubbly little boy.
"He said he doesn't feel like a normal kid and some days he's angry and lashing out, others he just sobs," she said.
"I want him to get his confidence and his little spark back."
To help, head to www.gofundme.com/deakins-diabetes-pump