(WSVN) - Her child has Type 1 diabetes, requiring him to prick himself with a needle several times a day. Recently, bad diabetes episodes at school sent him to the emergency room. Now the mother says she is being investigated for the problems at school. What can be done for the young boy? It’s why she called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser, and now the entire Help Me Howard team is stepping in.
A needle to his fingertip to check his blood sugar six, seven, eight times a day. Trey doesn’t need many words to describe the feeling.
Trey Robinson, has juvenile diabetes: “Bad.”
And then every single day the 10-year-old also has to have four or five insulin shots to control his blood sugar.
Trey Robinson: “My leg, my arm and sometimes my butt.”
It’s the life of a child with what’s called juvenile or Type 1 diabetes.
Sherry Robinson, Trey’s mother: “Almost two years ago we found out he was Type 1 diabetes. It was rough, and it’s been rough since then.”
The ideal blood sugar for a Type 1 diabetic is 80 to 120. If it gets too high or too low, it’s trouble.
Trey Robinson: “I get dizzy.”
Sherry Robinson: “I worry about him as soon as he gets out of my sight. I worry about him all the time.”
At home, Sherry and her husband Sylvester are able to control Trey’s blood sugar. Their children even help. While we were there, Trey’s 5-year-old sister reminded him to check his blood sugar.
But at school, Sherry says, his blood sugar gets out of control.
Sherry Robinson: “For last month alone, it was three times. Three times he has been in the hospital.”
Rushed to the hospital from his class the last time, Sherry says, because the school nurse gave her son too much insulin, dropping his blood sugar to a life-threatening 23.
Sherry Robinson: “And I said, ‘How much insulin did you give him?’ And she goes, ‘One unit.’ There is no way one unit will make his blood sugar drop from 250 to 23, so they really had to shoot him up.”
And Sherry says, nearly every time Trey gets home from the hospital, the Robinsons get a visit from Broward Sheriff’s Child Protective Services.
Sherry Robinson: “At home, I never had to call EMS, but at school, EMS has to be called. So why are you knocking on my door and investigating me?”
Which brings up their question, Howard. Legally, can the Robinson’s get in trouble for diabetes problems their son has at school?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “No, you cannot get in trouble if it’s not the parents’ fault. But in the county’s defense, the law requires them to investigate to make sure no child is abused or neglected. But not only should they meet with the parents, they should go to the school and talk to the nurse who administered the insulin to Trey.”
Turns out the nurse at the school is provided by the Health Department in Broward County.
Because of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act laws, they could not discuss the nurse with us.
We did find out the school district was the one that called investigators about Trey.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office couldn’t discuss the details of Trey’s case but said, in general, if there was a report, both the family and the school would be investigated.
But back at the Robinsons, Trey just wants to play, just wants to be a normal young boy.
Patrick Fraser: “Pretty good at basketball?”
Trey Robinson: “Yes.”
Patrick Fraser: “Pretty good at giving yourself shots?”
Trey Robinson: (smiles) “Yes.”
Sherry Robinson: “I feel real bad. I wish I could take it away from him. I wish I could have it.”
Sherry can’t do that of course, but she would like one thing for Trey that is possible.
Sherry Robinson: “I would love for him to be able to go to a camp or something that has kids around him like him. I would like for him to know that he is not the only child out there with Type 1 diabetes.”
And we were able to get that for Sherry.
Trey is now going to Camp Coral Kids, a two-week long summer camp for kids with Type 1 diabetes to play, swim, have fun with other kids with the same issues. Even better, the coordinator, Kathy Byrne, says they have a scholarship to pay for the camp for Trey.
Trey has a wish, too: that there will be a cure for diabetes, so he doesn’t have to prick himself anymore…
Trey Robinson: “I don’t want to be diabetic for the rest of my life.”
Not that it matters but, like Trey, I also have Type 1 diabetes. It’s no big deal. I am an adult… I can handle it…
But it’s tough to see kids having to poke themselves with needles. And on Saturday, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has a walk in Miami to raise money to find a cure for diabetes…
The Help Me Howard team will be there to help raise money. If you could make a donation — $10 dollars, $100 dollars, anything — you don’t know how much all of us would appreciate it.
On behalf of Trey and all the kids with diabetes, thank you so much.
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