'Shame on you': Mother of child with type 1 diabetes blasts Ontario government's OHIP cuts

Image via Facebook/Sun Life Walk to Cure Diabetes.

A mother’s Facebook post is going viral for highlighting the impact of Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s cuts to health care for those living with chronic conditions.

Sarah Elizabeth took to social media after her daughter Brier, a type 1 diabetic, avoided a near-fatal health scare thanks to Dexcom CGM, a life-saving wearable device that continuously monitors glucose levels.

Earlier this month, just a half an hour after her last glucose reading for the night, Sarah received an urgent notification from her daughter’s device that her glucose levels had dropped to dangerous levels.

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“Just about to settle into bed for [the] night and I hear Brier’s dexcom alarm sounding an urgent low. 3.2 and quickly dropping,” Sarah wrote in a Facebook post. “I had just tested half hour prior (10.2 great night time number) and I would not have tested again ‘til our regular night check at 3 a.m. She may not have survived [until] 3 a.m.”

The unexpected drop could have resulted in what’s called Dead in Bed Syndrome (DIB), a term used for the sudden unexplained deaths of young people with type 1 diabetes.

According to Diabetes UK, DIB occurs when insulin dependent children go to bed seeming perfectly fine with normal readings, but die from what’s most likely a sudden onset of night time hypoglycemia.

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“Without the dex, we legitimately could have lost her,” Sarah continued. “No lie or exaggeration. Please Google night time lows for me, and T1D. It’s scary. They call it ‘Dead in Bed Syndrome.’ Simply horrifying.”

While Brier is just one approximately 33,000 Canadian children living with type 1 diabetes, she is at risk of losing her Dexcom monitor due to the Ontario government’s recent cuts to OHIP.

“Our benefits will max out at $2,000/yr we will not be able to afford the Dex,” Sarah wrote, noting that the Dexcom system costs $360 per month, and an additional $380 every three months for transmitter.

“[Brier’s] monthly costs for insulin, test strips, pokey refills will average up to $400+ month,” she explained. “And no, the pharmacist told us when we max out, it’s ALL out of pocket, despite what we heard on [the] news.”

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The cuts have caused financial strain for many Ontario families who are struggling with the recent changes to children’s public drug coverage.

“Thank you [Doug Ford] for making it nearly unmanageable for me to keep my child alive,” Sarah wrote. “And [to] all you that voted him in at the cost of our healthcare, education and environment: Shame on you.”

Determined to advance diabetes research, Sarah and Brier are raising funds and participating in the Sun Life Walk to Cure Diabetes for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund.

Click here to support Team Brier Rose.

Note: Yahoo Canada has reached out for comment from the family, but has not received a response at time of publication.

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