January 24, 2014

Catholic Schools Week Supplement

‘Catholic schools are filled with love,’ says mother of child with diabetes

As a student at St. Susanna School in Plainfield, Hudson Miller has received great support from teachers Erica Heinekamp and Bonnie Booher after being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 9. (Submitted photo)

As a student at St. Susanna School in Plainfield, Hudson Miller has received great support from teachers Erica Heinekamp and Bonnie Booher after being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 9. (Submitted photo)

By John Shaughnessy

Tina Miller can recall all the details of her son, Hudson, being diagnosed with juvenile diabetes at the age of 9.

Yet what she remembers the most is the way her son’s school—St. Susanna School in Plainfield—has responded to his situation, starting with his first day of class after his diagnosis.

“I received lots of information from the staff during the hospital visit regarding the school’s responsibility,” Miller notes. “I also had a friend who had a child [at a different school] who had been diagnosed a year earlier, and she told me of all the horror stories she encountered with administrators, teachers and nurses.

“I walked in the first day with Hudson, and we were greeted by the most amazing teacher ever—Mrs. Bonnie Booher. She hugged us and gave us the reassurance we needed that everything was going to be OK. Our principal, librarian and Hudson’s teacher had worked together and had a plan to make everything work.”

Miller was stunned at how detailed the plan for Hudson was.

“They informed the entire staff and student body of Hudson’s new regimen, and what to look for and what to do if Huddy would begin to not act like himself. They hung posters in the cafeteria. The lunch lady volunteer happened to be a former nurse who had worked with juvenile diabetics. The [school] office became the central location for testing and shots. These angels came together to make life easier for my baby.

“They went above and beyond what any school needed to do to allow our family to feel like he was at the safest place in the world. And for that, we will be forever grateful.”

That care began during the 2012-13 school year and continues this school year, leading Miller to one conclusion.

“I would love if our school could receive the praise it deserves for the loving and caring manner in which everyone has handled my son’s condition with grace and respect,” she says. “Catholic schools are filled with love. This is just another way to show the true meaning of our schools’ message.” †

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