Nearly two years ago, Kristin Dell woke up to find her son, Creighton Dell, then 5, laying on the floor complaining of a stomach ache. As any mom would do, she took him back into her bed to lay with her in hopes to make it better. But unfortunately, it would get worse.
“When Creighton woke up a few hours later he was in bad shape,” Kristin recalls. “He couldn’t walk to me, he couldn’t talk to me. He had black circles around his eyes and his body was so dehydrated, it was sunk in. I knew just by looking at him, we had to get to the emergency room and we had to get there quickly.”
After a couple of blood tests, Creighton would be diagnosed with type one diabetes, a chronic illness where your body is unable to produce insulin which is needed to regulate blood sugars.
Creighton now has to take insulin daily either from shots or through a pump to regulate his sugars and keep him alive.
Kristin is thankful for the quick responders that helped get Creighton to Des Moines’ Blank Children’s Hospital and save her boy’s life that day.
“Even though Oct. 10, 2017 was a horrible day that I will unfortunately never forget, I am quickly reminded by all the good that did come about that day,” Kristin said. “From the time we walked in the hospital doors until the time we left to go to Blanks in an ambulance, we met some amazing nurses, EMT’s and doctors that became lifelong friends.”
“They worked magic on my son and didn’t stop until he was stable enough to be transported. They were quick to diagnose and quick to start treatment. The same with Blanks Children’s Hospital, fabulous people everywhere you went that were not just there for a paycheck, but really cared about the patients. They truly cared about my son. And at the end of the day, although our lives changed drastically, I was going home with my little boy.”
Fast forward to today, nearly two years after his diagnosis, Creighton, now 7, is doing much better thanks to the advancements of technology. Creighton uses a continuous glucose monitor daily to monitor sugar levels and a pump that he wears on his leg to administer insulin into his body. He also hasn’t stopped being himself.
“He has become a true inspiration to everyone around him. He still battles low and high blood sugars on a daily basis, but when you meet him, you would never know. He always has a smile on his face, ornery as all get out at times and still continues to find good in everyday,” Kristin said.
That inspiration continues beyond Centerville as Creighton has been given the opportunity by Unity Point to serve as a “Kid Captain” nominee, a program put together by Iowa State and Blank Children’s Hospital where selected kids are recognized for their stories of courage and strength, and attend Saturday’s Iowa vs Iowa State football game with a chance to be down on the field and even assist with the coin toss.
“To say he is excited is putting it mildly,” Kristin said. “He is so pumped. He recently started playing flag football and is really taking a liking to the sport.”
Like many households around the state of Iowa, members of the Dell family will be rooting for different teams on Saturday. For a family with history of Hawkeye fans, the Cyclones gained a new fan.
“Coming from a family of Hawkeye fans, Creighton may be the only one sporting the Cyclones’ colors, but our whole family will be cheering them on as well, especially this mom,” Kristin said. “They are allowing my son an experience that will last a lifetime and for that, I am eternally grateful. We truly are a house divided now!”