A seemingly healthy teenager from Alton, Missouri, died after her mother kept her life-threatening medical condition a secret for five years and refused to treat her properly for it.
Emily was diagnosed with type one diabetes five years ago and was given a prescription for insulin. It appears, however, that her mother, Amber Hampshire, never bothered to treat Emily’s condition properly. She even went as far as to hide the disease from Emily’s father and all other friends and family members.
When she was 14, Emily suffered a severe diabetic attack. A 911 call was made at 8:08 a.m. on November 1st, 2018, and the caller indicated that Emily was unresponsive. Emergency personnel were dispatched, and Emily was rushed to a local hospital and then air-lifted to Cardinal Glennon in St. Louis.
At the hospital, Emily remained in a diabetic coma and was completely unresponsive for two days. During her treatment, her mother refused to have her medical records transferred so the doctors could see them, and she claimed that Emily had been treated for pneumonia and high blood sugar in February but that insulin had never been prescribed.
Hospital staff suspected her mother of medical neglect and called police in an attempt to keep something like this from happening to Emily again. It was too late to save her life, however, and she passed away from diabetic ketoacidosis two days after being admitted to the hospital.
After Emily’s death, the hospital was able to get her medical records, which is when they discovered Hampshire’s lie—her daughter had been treated for diabetic ketoacidosis once before, in 2013. During her February 2018 hospital visit, doctors had again mentioned that Emily had diabetes, prescribed insulin, and set up follow-up appointments, but Hampshire and her daughter never showed up for those appointments.
A notice about Emily’s condition was also sent to her school, but Hampshire, who worked at the school, reportedly told the them that the information they’d received was incorrect and should be disregarded.
After Emily’s death, investigators obtained a search warrant for her home, where they uncovered diabetes medications and equipment, diabetes care packets, and a medication schedule and checklist. It’s unclear why Emily’s condition was so neglected despite the fact that the family evidently had the resources they needed to properly manage it.
Hampshire has now been charged with involuntary manslaughter and endangering the life or health of a child. She turned herself in to police a few weeks after her daughter’s death, and her bond was set at $100,000. If convicted, she faces several years in prison.
“There were so many supportive people around this family and this young girl who would’ve stepped up and helped,” said Tom Gibbons, the Madison County State’s Attorney. “I have no words.”
The authorities do not believe Hampshire had any religious reasons for denying treatment to Emily and for keeping her diagnosis a secret. Instead, they believe a personality disorder or some other mental health issue may have caused Hampshire’s actions.
“It sounds like it could be a personality characteristic where an individual wants to live their life through someone else. So this image must be perfect. So anything that is a crack to that foundation is ignored or dismissed,” clinical psychologist Dr. Marva Robinson said.
Diabetes is an incurable and serious medical condition, but those who suffer from it can live long, full, and healthy lives with the help of proper treatment. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes, please seek medical advice and do not ignore any symptoms.
Check out the video below to learn more about this heartwrenching story:
Elizabeth Nelson is a wordsmith, an alumna of Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, a four-leaf-clover finder, and a grammar connoisseur. She has lived in west Michigan since age four but loves to travel to new (and old) places. In her free time, she. . . wait, what’s free time?