Kisses for Kycie: Doctors say 5-year-old girl is suffering from permanent brain damage

ST. GEORGE (ABC 4 Utah) -According to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), 15,000 children are diagnosed with type 1 diabetes every year.

On January 30th, doctors said 5-year-old Kycie Terry had the disease.

Kycie lives with her family in St. George. Kycie’s uncle, Jace King, said she started to show flu-like symptoms on January 25th

“She was sleeping a lot, taking a lot of naps, drank a lot of sprite, kept wanting to throw up and had a belly ache,” King told ABC4’s Tasmin Mahfuz.

By Wednesday, her mother, Jamie, had taken Kycie to her pediatrician. Her uncle said since Kycie was showing typical symptoms of flu, doctors had treated her with antibiotics for strep throat.

“I think Jamie just assumed, as well as Josh (Kycie’s father), and tha doctor that these were following what the other kids,” King said.

Kycie’s pre-school teacher, Jani Weir, visited her at the family’s home on Thursday.

“She was very frail, very tired. She kept trying to lift her hand up and lift her arm up to say hi to me,” Weir said.

On Friday afternoon, Jamie took her daughter to the ER. After conducting several tests, doctors found her glucose levels were abnormally high.

“Her blood glucose was around 1148 when she first presented to the hospital which is extremely high – the normal being 70-120,” said King.

Within hours, Kycie was life flighted to the Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. On the way to the hospital, Kycie had two seizures.

“At that point, everyone realized it was something more serious, not just diabetes,” King said.

King said Kycie was in a coma for 24 hours. During that time, doctors had conducted MRI tests and found she had extensive damage to her brain.

“Doctors explained her brain had been swelling this entire week and it had just gotten to the point where it had swollen so much that as they were trying to treat her DKA and for diabetes that slowly increased the pressure in her brain more and at that point, sent her into a seizure,” said King.

Kycie’s father said she was extubated this week. He explained that the severity of Kycie’s complication is rare because her brain had herniated into the brain stem.

“It wasn’t news we were looking for, but it did show that there was extensive damage to both sides of the brain stem from the mid-stem up. It looked like permanent damage and her chances for survival is pretty low,” said King.

Kycie’s grandmother, Lisa, said it’s now the little miracles that’s keeping their hope alive as Kycie undergoes more tests and treatments.

“She’s breathing on her own. Her blood is under control. She’s had multiple episodes where her eyes have been open. There’s just little improvements we’ve been seeing,” King said.

Family and friends have decorated the Terry’s home and started a social media hashtag #kissesforkycie.

“We’re so grateful for the blessings we’ve been receiving from people around the world. Complete strangers are donating their love,” her grandmother said.

Weir said Kycie’s classmates know about their friend’s condition and have been making Valentine’s Day cards for her.

“Everyone’s bringing our valentine’s for Kycie and we will send them up there to the hospital. It’s a somber feel and a sad feel because we miss her dearly,” Weir said.

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