It was a Friday. Fennimore Schools would be letting out for the winter holidays in two weeks. But Breelyn Neuroth wasn’t at school, doing homework, watching the calendar, as she got ready for the holidays. The Fennimore High School Freshman sat in a Madison hospital room waiting for a doctor to come in and tell her if today was the day she would receive a new pancreas. Breelyn sat all day. This was the third time she had been informed of a possible pancreas donation, though the first to bring her to the hospital. As the day wore on, the chance that this was the day the doctors would give a go-ahead for a transplant seemed uncertain.
That changed when nurses wheeled in a pre-op bed and informed her they had come to take her to surgery. It was time. After living with diabetes since age three, the Fennimore teen’s life was about to change dramatically.
When Breelyn returned to school at the beginning of January, she wasn’t allowed to carry her book bag – the incision running the length of her abdomen, sternum to pelvis, was still healing. But the constant need to prick her fingers to check her blood sugar levels was gone, as were the frequent shots of insulin she had been giving herself. There were no more calculations of trading a moment of celebration – eating a cupcake at a birthday – for needing insulin.
“I can do a lot more,” Breelyn says. “I can stay overnight with a friend, I can eat what I want.”
That might not sound like much if you have always been able to do these things, but it’s huge if you haven’t.
Breelyn became diabetic at age three after an autoimmune reaction shut down her pancreas. Without a functioning pancreas, her body couldn’t produce insulin, necessary for maintaining consistent blood sugar levels. She needed to have her blood sugar monitored and insulin injected.
For the complete story, please see the Feb. 8, 2018 issue of the Fennimore Times.
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