A Wayne County 13-year old was sent home from school Thursday with what appeared to be a stomach bug. By Sunday, Mark Deary had lapsed into a coma and died.
His parents never knew he had juvenile diabetes.
“We are all in shock,” said his Aunt Sue Camp. “A simple urine test could have saved his life.”
His family, classmates and the community are in mourning.
“It’s a big shock, no one knew about it,” says Kristen DeSantis who is in 9th grade at Clyde-Savannah High School. “He was perfectly fine and I saw him hanging around in the hallway a couple of days ago.”
DeSantis turned to Facebook. “These are all of the posts so far,” she said scrolling down the computer page. She set up the page to memorialize her class mate and to connect with others who are struggling to sort out their feelings.
“I think he touched our lives because he was funny and with a huge creativity in him,” said DeSantis.
He had an amazing sense of humor,’ recalled Paul Figuora Lippert, a senior who is school president.
Mark’s mother Erika Kellam told 13Wham News that after her son was sent home sick on Thursday he appeared to be suffering from the flu and was vomiting regularly.
On Sunday, he was found unresponsive in his bed.
“His sugar levels caused him to go into cardiac arrest,” said his Aunt Sue Camp. By the time he was taken to the hospital, there was no brain activity.”
Kellam said it wasn’t until after he got to the hospital that they realized Mark had gone into a diabetic coma.
He had never been diagnosed with the disease.
Type One diabetes attacks the cells of the pancreas destroying their ability to make insulin.
Erika Kellam says parents need to ask for yearly urine tests for their children.
She said because of the coma, Mark was not a candidate for organ donation, except for his eyes which she hopes will help another young person.
Students have also decorated the 7th grader's locker inside the middle school with cards, letters, balloons and photos.
“You are a kind, caring little angel who got his wings too early,” read one message of support.
The classmates want to remember their friend as well as send messages to his parents.
“For his parents to know that we think he is worth remembering and his memory is there with us,” said Lorrayne Broach, a 9th