Early diabetes detection vital to saving Melville boy Koby King


Jodi King with her son Koby, who was diagnosed with diabetes as a baby.
Jodi King with her son Koby, who was diagnosed with diabetes as a baby.

A YOUNG graduate doctor noticed what smelled like nail polish on the breath of a seven-week-old baby and rushed Koby King by ambulance to Princess Margaret Hospital.

Koby was diagnosed with ketoacidosis due to diabetes and spent two weeks fighting for his life in hospital.

Melville resident Jodi King said the day her son was diagnosed, he seemed to develop a cold and she skipped a morning playdate to take Koby to the doctor.

“We didn’t notice a great deal at first,” Ms King said.

“He got snuffly and was quite lethargic in between feeds and he vomited a couple of times.

“I had a cold at the time, so I thought he did too, but I just remember thinking ‘there’s something not quite right’.”

Today, Koby is a happy and healthy five-year-old boy.

Diabetes WA is raising awareness and promoting earlier detection of type 1 and type 2 diabetes through its campaign t It’s About Time.

Diabetes WA unit manager Sophie McGough said ketones were the by-product of breaking down body fat to use as energy instead of glucose.

“The pH of the blood is normally closely regulated by the body, but a large production of ketones overrides this safety mechanism,” she said.

“A reduction in the pH of the blood is called ketoacidosis and can be fatal.”

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system destroys cells in the pancreas, stopping it from producing insulin.

In the past year, 3186 Australians were newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.

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