The tech-savy, soon-to-be kindergartener calculates his blood sugar levels through a continuous glucose monitor that syncs up through his smartwatch and cell phone.
Baker Carrington is not one to sit back and watch from the sidelines. The five-year old, multi-season athlete can be found out running up and down the soccer field or in the fast lane swimming. From scoring goals to doing flip kicks, Baker channels all of his energy and enthusiasm into sports.
When Baker was three, his mother, Melissa, noticed something was off. She recalls Baker being constantly hungry, thirsty and having to urinate throughout the night even though he was potty-trained. The family called Dr. P. Revi Mathew, pediatric endocrinologist at The Children’s Hospital at TriStar Centennial.
Dr. Mathew and Baker connected the moment the two met. Melissa recalls Dr. Mathew treating Baker as if he were an adult patient. He met with Baker, got down to his height and explained everything to him first. Baker received his diagnosis of Type 1 Diabetes. Dr. Mathew, his nurses and clinical diabetes educator met with the Carrington family to educate how to inject insulin, count carbohydrates and monitor Baker’s blood glucose levels. The family is currently working with Dr. Mathew and his team to teach Baker how to use a syringe in hopes he will be able to perform his own insulin injections by age six.
Baker is very mature for his age and understands the importance of keeping his blood sugar levels under control. He regularly checks his phone and smart watch to ensure he is close to his “magic number 100.” He even has plush toy beta cells and a pancreas to give in depth explanations to his friends and family members about diabetes.
“Outpatient education and establishing care is vital to keeping a pediatric diabetic patient from emergent visits to the hospital,” said Dr. Mathew. “Type 1 Diabetes is not a cookbook approach. Baker has extreme variations in blood glucose levels, so we have put him on an intuitive monitoring system and research with new technologies in insulin to find a long-acting regime that responses best to his needs.”
The Carringtons consider their family and The Children’s Hospital a partnership. They have the peace of mind knowing that they are equipped to be Baker’s caregivers at home, but they can call anytime of the day or night and they can receive guidance.
Melissa now chairs The Children’s Hospital parent advisory board to ensure that families are at the table for new initiatives implemented and is able to bring the unique perspective from her experience to help make an impact for other parents in their child’s healthcare journey.
Receiving the news that a child has diabetes can be a stressful situation for parents. The Children's Hospital is always here to give patients and their families ongoing physical and emotional support.