Sierra Greenlee with her daughter Arya.
Sierra Greenlee with her daughter Arya.

‘I held her as the heat left her body’

A HEARTBROKEN mum has taken to social media to share a warning with parents after her two-year-old daughter died suddenly.

Since she penned the post about her little girl Arya, it has been shared over 620k times.

Sierra Greenlee from Kansas, in the United States, began her post by writing, "I have avoided this post for awhile, it is long but hang in there I promise it is important."

Sierra Greenlee with her daughter Arya.
Sierra Greenlee with her daughter Arya.

"I would like to share with you the worst night of my life. Not because I want your pity, but because I would like to inform you on an issue that is very important and no one really thinks about.

"In the wee hours of March 22, 2018 it was like any other. I got off work and I headed to pick up my daughter. She had spent the last week with her dad and I was ready for my snuggles. I was excited to hear about her week and I was dreaming of the late morning breakfast and playtime we would have when we woke up.

Arya Greenlee died at just two years of age.
Arya Greenlee died at just two years of age.

"When I got to the babysitters she had carried her to my car, my daughter was completely knocked out, she had had a hard day. In an offhand way I asked if she was breathing, joking.

"Until I put my hand on her little chest and I felt no movement. In that moment I completely freaked out. I couldn't finish a thought. I knew I needed to get her back inside and start CPR.

"I was so mad and terrified. I was yelling at everyone who got in my way or tried to say something.

"I ran her back inside and laid her down and started CPR on her little limp body. In my head I knew I needed to remain calm but I couldn't, I was yelling at my babysitter and trying to think about doing chest compressions and breathing and freaking out the entire time.

"Finally after what seemed like an hour which in actuality was probably only 15 minutes EMS got there and took over. For the next hour while they tried desperately to bring me back my baby I called my parents and her dad, I paced, I cried, I prayed.


"At times I felt like an outsider watching this awful event unfold. I had always had these nightmares but it was never supposed to happen, not to me. It was the most surreal moments in my life."

 

Arya Greenlee. Picture: Facebook
Arya Greenlee. Picture: Facebook

 

"After an hour of watching them pump my little girls chest and breathe for her, they loaded her up in the ambulance and we followed behind. As we drove to the hospital the worst thoughts flooded into my head.

"I thought of the fact that the last time I had seen my baby awake she was begging me not to go to work and I went anyway. I was thinking about what it would mean for me if she was gone. I thought of what it would be like to plan my child's funeral and all the things I would miss out on. I prayed to God that if only he would spare my baby I would do whatever he wanted.

"When we got to the hospital they lead me to the small room off of the waiting room and started asking me all of the questions they ask when you go to the hospital. I foolishly thought this is a good sign. They want to admit her.

"I was there for maybe 10 minutes before a doctor came in, sat down beside me and said the words that would forever change my world. He said 'we did everything we could but unfortunately we were unable to revive her and she did not survive.'

 

Arya Greenlee. Picture: Facebook
Arya Greenlee. Picture: Facebook

"That one little sentence devastated my entire being. Everything I was, was in that little girl.

"She was my absolute pride and joy. If you asked me how I was doing it would usually go something like, 'I'm good, my daughter …' But in that moment I couldn't feel anything it was like my heart had stopped too. I was an empty shell. The shock was overwhelming.

"When they took me to her little lifeless body laying on that big hospital bed I lost it. I wanted to hold her and lay with her. They let me.

"I held her as the heat slowly left her body and her skin became cold to the touch. If I wasn't holding her I was running my hands through her hair. Singing her favourite song.

"After about 30 minutes or so they came to me and told me they had run some tests and it appears she had had undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes and her blood sugar level was in the 500s. I could not comprehend this information.

"How could my baby have diabetes? She had attended her wellness check up only the week before and they told me she was healthy. How could she have died from a disease that I know thousands of people manage?

 

Arya Greenlee’s headstone.
Arya Greenlee’s headstone.

"For those of you who do not know an average person's blood sugar should not be above 100 and my child's was five times the healthy amount. At 300-400 you start to go comatose.

"My baby had slipped into a coma and her little body was unable to fight its way out, and it gave out. There were no signs leading up to this it was unexpected. Diabetes does not run in either of our families and so we had no idea.

"Later I found out that diabetes is not something they test for in small children. They don't typically test until they are school age and show signs. Unless of course it runs in the family.

"The signs for diabetes in toddlers are they drink a lot and pee a lot and are tired. These signs are easily missed and overlooked because most toddlers do these things. The test is a simple blood sugar test that you have to request at their wellness check up.

"So I beg you to ask your child's doctor to test for it. I beg you to become aware of the signs and symptoms of childhood diabetes. I beg you to share this post and story with everyone because no parent should ever have to hear the words 'I'm sorry but unfortunately she did not survive'."

Sierra's post was met with an outpouring of supportive comments.

"Well said Sierra Greenlee. What a hard story to write - and done with such strength and love. You have honoured Arya's legacy in how you live for her, sharing, loving, giving in such tremendous ways," wrote Lauri James Greenlee.

"I am so very sorry for your broken heart," wrote Laurie Benedek Truesdell.

"Your courage and willingness to share your story to help others shows me a glimpse of the wonderful mum you are. Using your heartbreak to help prevent someone else's."