Do you believe that if you are in a time of desperation that a police officer would assist you? This is what I believed in until the day of September 16, 2004. This is an incident that took place nearly five years ago, yet it still disturbs me. Maybe in giving this story a voice, it will help me to overcome the memories of this terrible incident.
It was on that day of September that my daughter fell ill. What appeared to be a stomach flu turned out to be a life changing experience. After impatiently awaiting on the results from her blood work, we learned how serious her illness really was. Jessica’s blood-glucose level was nearly eight hundred, and she began showing signs of becoming lethargic. The pediatrician instructed my mother-in-law and I to drive to Vanderbilt, and not to make any stops along the way. Knowing how serious this was, we rushed off to the hospital. On our way we realized that we made a wrong turn, so we pulled off the interstate to a local gas station where we found a police officer that was on duty. For a moment I felt an ounce of relief knowing that the office would help my daughter. In a state of panic, we approached the officer and explaining to him how we had gotten lost and needed to get my baby to Vanderbilt immediately. It was his response that will haunt me for the rest of my life. He calmly stated that the only action he could offer was to call the ambulance; my heart fell to the ground with his cold response.
Realizing we had no time to wait on an ambulance, I called her pediatrician, and he found us in a matter of a few minutes. He saw that my daughter looked weak and was falling asleep, and he instructed me to keep her awake the best that I could. It was only a matter of about ten minutes when we arrived at the entrance of the children’s hospital. She was then diagnosed with Type One juvenile diabetes, and treated in the Intensive Care Unit for Diabetic Ketoacidosis, a life threatening condition that occurs when ones blood sugar reaches dangerous levels.
It wasn’t until now that my story had a voice. Believe me, I’m not saying that every police officer would have acted this way, but I felt that it needed to be known what happened to my daughter and I on that horrific day. I just hope that my story will touch others and make them think twice before turning down someone who is in desperate need for help. As sad as this is to say, I will never trust another police officer again.
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