17-year-old Jack Dunn was suffering from such severe stomach pains that he couldn’t even stand or walk properly. His parents rushed him to the hospital where a ton of tests were performed.
His parents were relieved, but also surprised to learn that the teen from Porth, Wales, had only a case of bad constipation. The doctors prescribed him some powerful laxatives before sending him home.
As the family was leaving the hospital, they had no idea that the medical issue Jack was facing was much more severe than could have been predicted.
In a very unfortunate turn of events, Kieron, Jack’s father, would find him dead in bed only 24 hours after having left the hospital.
According to his parents, the doctors at the hospital did not seem concerned at all with Jack’s condition. They had even ruled out the possibility of appendicitis with a scan.
“We took him to A&E and completely trusted the doctors in telling us what was wrong with him. He could barely walk he was in so much pain. He was given a bladder scan but it didn’t really show anything up. The doctor said he was baffled and believed Jack was suffering from nothing more than a bad bout of constipation,” Jack’s father told The Sun.
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As it turns out, Jack was suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis.
Diabetic ketoacidosis is a dangerous condition which occurs when the body cannot produce enough insulin. In addition to the lack of insulin, the body is also producing an excess amount of ketones – or blood acids.
“When Jack was finding it difficult to breathe the doctor thought it was probably anxiety because Jack was anxious about being in the hospital,” Kieron explained. “But him struggling to breathe was because his organs were closing down because of the ketoacidosis.”
He added, “Finding my son dead in his bed was the worst moment of my life. I believe Jack would be alive today if a few more simple tests had been carried out.”
His parents believe that he would still be alive today if the doctors had only taken the time to conduct a simple glucose test.
“Jack’s white blood cell count was up so that was an indicator something was going on in his body that wasn’t right,” Kieron said. “If they had tested him for ketones he would probably be alive today.”
When detected early enough, ketoacidosis can easily be treated with insulin and proper medication. Other symptoms of ketoacidosis to be aware of include excessive thirst, fatigue, confusion, fast breathing, and the frequent need to urinate.
Jack’s parents are hoping that by sharing their son’s story, they will be able to spread awareness to others about ketoacidosis, and hopefully spare another family the pain of having to go through what they have.
“My son was a healthy fit 17-year-old who was full of energy and life. I have to speak out both for Jack and our family which has been utterly devastated by his loss. People need to know what a deadly condition ketoacidosis is,” Kieron said.
This story originally appeared at Goodfullness.
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