26 March 2008

How? Why!?

[updated] I found this story through Donna. It makes me sick. How, in this day in age, would ANYONE think that this poor child would have been ok without medical intervention. How did her teachers, her neighbors, her friends' parents, not realize that she was deteriorating in front of their eyes!? [ok found out she was home-schooled that explains why no authorities stepped in] But seriously. Thinking that by praying she would miraculously recover? She must have been absolutely miserable. After a few hours without insulin I know I am... for at least a month she had to go through that while her parents prayed. There is no excuse for this. None. From what I understand her siblings were taken away from the parents. Good. They should not be near children. When I read the story last night it seemed like she was diagnosed many years ago and hadn't received insulin since so my original assumption was wrong but I still believe those people should be put in jail and sentenced to the FULLEST extend of the law. Negligent homicide. I pray I never meet anyone like this...

Here's the Nancy Grace, CNN side of the story as well.

Untreated diabetes kills girl

Parents choose prayer instead of medical care

Gannett Wisconsin Media

TOWN OF WESTON -- The parents of an 11-year-old girl who died Sunday from an untreated form of diabetes prayed for the girl's health rather than seek medical intervention, police said.

According to police, Madeline Kara Neumann of the town of Weston died of diabetic ketoacidosis, a condition that develops when a person's body has too little insulin. She reportedly had not received medical treatment since she was 3 years old, said Everest Metro Police Chief Dan Vergin, whose department is investigating.

The girl's parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, were unaware their daughter's recent illness was caused by diabetic ketoacidosis, Vergin said. Although the family has no ties to a specific church or religion, he said, they prayed for her and then attributed her death to them apparently not having enough faith.

"It is our understanding that instead of seeking medical help, they chose to pray over her and their faith would heal her," Vergin said.

Madeline Neumann's aunt from California contacted the Police Department out of concerns about the girl's health and asked police to check on her niece, Vergin said. The girl, who went by her middle name, Kara, was taken by ambulance from the family's home on Maplewood Drive to Saint Clare's Hospital in Weston, where she was pronounced dead.

Marathon County Medical Examiner John Larson said diabetic ketoacidosis prevents the body from absorbing nutrients. The girl appeared abnormally lean, and Larson said her body was wasting away.

Kathy Ziembo, an advanced practice registered nurse at Aspirus Wausau Hospital, said the condition is treatable and that the hospital treats several cases of it a week.

Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and fatigue.

"You know if there is something wrong," Ziembo said.

A shortage of insulin causes the body to break down fat, a process that produces toxic acids known as ketones. Treatment generally takes a few days in the hospital, as patients receive insulin intravenously to replace lost fluids.

Neumann's death will be investigated further, and the findings will be forwarded to the Marathon County district attorney's office to determine if any crime was committed, Vergin said.

Police have not had previous contact with her family, he said.

The girl's mother, Leilani Neumann, is co-owner of Monkey Mo Coffee To Go in Weston. A sign posted Tuesday on the shop's front door read, "Closed due to family emergency."

The Neumanns could not be reached for comment.

and please don't take insulin intravenously. that's just not right in any way... the article should have said saline solution not insulin...

Praying for strength.


abcd said...

What happened to that poor girl is horrible. However, the article is way off. I've spent the day reading different accounts of it. The first clue of their error in reporting is the statement that patients receive insulin intravenously for a few days to replace fluids.

It seems as though it was a typical case of juvenile diabetes suddenly presenting itself over the course of about 30 days. What is atypical is that they ignored it and let her die before their very eyes. Not only that, but that god would save her, and after she died resurrect her.

I hope they're charged and punished to the fullest extent of the law. At least their other 3 children have since been removed from the home. There's no excuse for that sort of neglect and it makes me sick to my stomach.

As the mother of a diabetic child, I would never let my child deteriorate like that; even if I was initially unaware of the onset of diabetes, which every parent is unaware at the time of their child's diagnosis. However, children get that diagnosis because parents know something is wrong and have their child examined before it escalates to death.

k2 said...

How could they do that?!!
I just have so many emotions right now that I can't be more articulate.

Sandra said...

I dont know this family, am in another state, but I have read news articles stating that the
parents, neighbors, teachers, friends, coffee shop customers all said that the weeks before her death she was at parties, playing, sledding, engergetic and vibrant, she never showed any signs of medical problems to anyone. She wasnt sick.

This must have come on suddenly. Since this report I have read others (not related to this family) say that they too had a diabetic illness that they had never had before and thought that they had the flu. Most of us dont go to the doctors for the flu, but Im sure many pray for thier kids if they have the flu.

Its really a tragic situation all around.

Strange that she never showed any symptoms.

When I was a kid, raised here in United States I only remember going to the doctors twice, never needed it. Im healthy and strong.

My kids go all the time, but some times I have taken them when they really didnt need it. It was just something that would pass.

Very sad situation. Were praying for the parents and siblings.

I too wish they had taken her to the doctors, but if the neighbors and friends are right, then this came on suddenly and fatigue was her symptom, and if true it could happen to anyone.

jules said...

thanks for all the input yall. i had only read the one article last night and throughout the day i heard more about it. need to do some more research. however, i stand firm in my belief that her parents should be sent to prison and punished to the fullest extend of the law. symptoms of diabetes are obvious, even if you don't know what's wrong you still know something isn't right. pure neglect.

abcd said...

Updating the comment I made last night. Now I'm not so sure the other children were removed from the home. I saw it as a comment in another news story, but not an actual report of it. So who knows.

That's one of the things that gets me the most. Investigators decided no abuse had taken place and allowed the other children to remain in the home. Type 1 diabetes tends to be genetic. What happens if another one of their children gets it? Do they die too? Ugh. =(

Liz said...

I agree. They should go to jail for murder, or at the least, negligent homicide and child abuse.

Morons... criminals.

- badgermama

Ashley said...

this is upsetting. that someone would choose faith healing over modern medicine in itself is upsetting. my friend troy's dad told me one time "i'm sure jesus will heal your diabetes." it kind of caught me off guard that he would think that way, but i just said, "well maybe, but just in case he doesn't, i'll keep taking my insulin."

it amazes me that people actually believe this and live their lives this way.

and it's so sad, because this little girl is dead, and had her parents done the right thing she would be getting better right now, learning how to be...well.. just like us.

she could have been.

Naomi said...

Very sad.

When Daniel was dx'd, diabetes was not even on my radar. I didn't know the symptoms. Perhaps if I had, he wouldn't have ended up in Children's Hosp. for 3 days. Ugh.

Araby62 said...

Frightening, and heartbreaking. I feel so sorry for that poor little girl. Her suffering was intense.

Shawn Francis Peters said...

I've written pretty extensively on the legal and ethical issues raised by these kinds of cases. And, since I'm based at UW-Madison, I've commented on the Neumann case specifically in a number of different forums (including CNN).

I won't drone on here, but if you're interested in learning more, you might check out my "Religious Convictions" blog at: