Jacksonville boy gets life-changing diagnosis, ongoing care at Wolfson Children’s
It was just a typical day by the pool for eight-year-old Ethan Brockman and his family around Memorial Day 2014, when a family friend picked up on some subtle changes in him including weight loss and sluggish behavior. His mother Ashley had confided that Ethan was drinking and going to the bathroom more.
“My friend, who is also a nurse, then mentioned that he might have diabetes,” Ashley said.
A quick trip to a nearby drug store and two positive urine ketone test strips suggested that Ethan had too much sugar in his blood, and less than an hour later, he was in the Wolfson Children’s Emergency Center, where he was diagnosed with Type I diabetes. Ethan was admitted immediately to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Wolfson Children’s Hospital where he was started on IV-administered insulin to stabilize his blood sugar level.
As Ethan’s condition improved, the family received a visit from Certified Diabetes Educator Sheryl Trundy, RN, with the Northeast Florida Pediatric Diabetes Center at Wolfson Children’s. She worked with Ethan and his parents to learn how to check his blood sugar with a finger prick, administer insulin shots and calculate how much insulin to use by counting the carbohydrates in each upcoming meal. She also talked to them about how to use rescue medication.
After two days, Ethan went home from the hospital with a new routine that included finger pricking to check his blood sugar several times a day, and giving himself insulin shots. Since his diagnosis, the Brockman family has worked hard to keep life as normal as possible. They’ve made some changes at snack time like substituting Goldfish crackers and other high-carbohydrate snacks with lower-carb options such as peanuts. They make sure he gets to his karate classes and out to play with his friends.
Ethan has graduated from insulin shots to a pump, and he even has an app on his phone that alerts him and his parents if his blood sugar is too high or low. The Brockmans say the education and care they received from the moment he entered Wolfson Children’s Hospital has helped them navigate through the fear of a scary diagnosis and treatment.
“Ethan has done an amazing job of jumping in and taking control,” said Ashley. “He has his moments when he’s angry that he has this disease, but he is mostly positive. This is life – it’s just our new normal.”
Community support of Wolfson Children's makes kids care better
As a not-for-profit children’s hospital, the only one in Northeast Florida, Wolfson Children’s Hospital relies on the generous support of Moms and Dads, Grandmas and Grandpas, and others who care deeply about the health and well-being of kids in our region. Your charitable gift ensures that kids like Ethan have access to the best possible care, right here in our region.
How can you help? You can make a secure online gift, talk to the Baptist Health Foundation by calling 904.202.2919, or request more information by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to help even more? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to read more inspiring stories about children and families in our community , and to talk to us about the impact Wolfson Children’s has made on your life or your family’s.