Will’s flu illness progressed to diabetic ketoacidosis, causing him to lose his life in less than three days.
Will was the picture of health as a kind, creative, and pragmatic 22-year-old. Although he was a Type 1 diabetic, Will didn’t let that stop him from being a successful athlete who played college lacrosse. Will was even named captain of his lacrosse team in his senior year and was set to graduate with honors.
Will’s Flu Illness
In late January 2015, flu started circulating through Will’s campus and his mother urged him to take the appropriate precautions to stay healthy. Just a few days later, Will’s mother received a call that he had collapsed and was being taken to the local hospital. Will’s parents rushed to catch a flight to Florida to be with their son.
When his parents arrived at the airport, they received a call from Will’s doctor with the most devastating news a parent can hear – Will had died. His blood sugar was significantly elevated, his heart had stopped, and the medical team was unable to revive him. In just three days, the flu had resulted in diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) and Will’s subsequent death.
Flu and Diabetes
Flu can increase the risk of DKA. Will’s mother, Lyndall, wants everyone to know that people with Type 1 diabetes are at an increased risk of flu-related complications, and as such, should receive an annual flu vaccine each and every year. And people around family members with Type 1 diabetes need to be vaccinated, too, to help protect their loved ones. Lyndall also encourages people with Type 1 diabetes to seek medical treatment immediately if they fall ill with flu; every minute counts when it comes to saving a life. Lyndall hopes that Will’s story will help save lives because flu and DKA are a deadly combination.
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