Sierra Greenlee spent the last six months of her life trying to coop with loss. In March, Greenlee’s 3-year-old daughter, Arya, unexpectedly died.
On Sept. 17, Greenlee was ready to share her tragic story with the world, in hopes it would save the lives of other children.
“I would like to share with you the worst night of my life,” Greenlee wrote on Facebook.
“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.”
Greenlee explained that she’d gotten off work and went to pick her daughter up from the babysitter. It was very early in the morning, and Arya seemed sound asleep when the babysitter carried her out to the car.
But Greenlee was immediately troubled when she touched her daughter’s chest, and felt no movement.
Emotions high, Greenlee rushed Arya back inside the house and started to perform CPR while waiting for paramedics to arrive.
“In my head I knew I needed to remain calm but I couldn’t,” Greenlee said. “I was yelling at my babysitter and trying to think about doing chest compressions and breathing and freaking out the entire time.”
“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,” Greenlee said.
“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.”
Ultimately, Greenlee and Arya ended up at the hospital, where doctors confirmed the mother’s worst nightmare.
“We did everything we could but unfortunately we were unable to revive her and she did not survive,” a doctor said.
Greenlee was led to her daughter’s lifeless body, where she clung desperately to her daughter for the last time.
About half an hour later, Greenlee found out what had caused her baby girl to pass away so suddenly: Arya had undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes, Greenlee learned, is not something young children are routinely tested for unless there is a reason to suspect there might be an issue, such as a family history of diabetes.
Some of the symptoms of diabetes, like always drinking and urinating, are very common in toddlers. In Arya’s case, nobody had reason to suspect anything was wrong with the little girl’s body.
“So I beg you to ask your child’s doctor to test for it,” Greenlee urged. “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.”
With nearly 500,000 shares so far, Arya’s tragic story is spreading the word to families across the globe, potentially saving countless lives along the way.