SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — According to the Center for Disease Control’s latest diabetes report, 34.2 million Americans live with diabetes.
One of those people is 9-year-old Jozy Morris of Northwest Arkansas.
Back in 2018, she went to see her primary care doctor for a slew of issues. “I had a really, really bad headache to where I just didn’t feel good to where I slept for about 2 or 3 hours and all of a sudden my belly started hurting really bad and then my back did too,” Jozy said.
She was sent to Arkansas Children’s in Little Rock where she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
Jozy’s father Jason said, “It was pretty scary at first because just knowing that we were going to have to change lifestyle, change everything and stay on top of the game to make sure she’s treated correctly.”
Heather Johnson, a diabetes and endocrine nurse practitioner with Arkansas Children’s Northwest (ACNW) in Springdale, said Jozy’s body stopped producing insulin, which lead to her diagnosis.
If type 1 diabetes is not caught early enough, Johnson said, “it can lead to a medical emergency called diabetic ketoacidosis very quickly.” Luckily for Jozy, it didn’t get to that point.
Since she was diagnosed, the Morris’ have been learning how to manage Jozy’s diabetes.
Jozy said, “if we need to know something that we don’t know, like about diabetes, we can ask anybody there at the hospital.”
To maintain it, Jozy wears an insulin pump. It’s on a remote access system that’s accessable to not only her family, but the staff who care for her at ACNW.
“Let’s say she’s at school, or she’s having a sleepover, the parents can be assured what her blood sugar is while they’re not on-site with her,” Johnson said.
It’s devices like this, the knowledge her family has learned and the care she continues to receive at ACNW that’ll allow Jozy to lead a somewhat normal life.
As part of the annual Give Kids a Miracle Telethon, KNWA/ FOX24 and America’s Car-Mart are raising money for Arkansas Children’s Northwest to benefit kids, like Jozy.
Donations can be made by texting ACNW to 51555 or by visiting the website located here from now until March 4.