Oliver Kuhl, portraitIn their words

Heidi Kuhl
Mason City, Iowa

Our son was in severe diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) in Mason City. The plan was to fly him to University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital but the Iowa weather was not in our favor. After realizing he would not be able to fly out for several hours, UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital sent their own ground transport team to come get him to ensure his condition was cared for and he was safe the entire trip.

We spent a day in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and were then transferred to a room in endocrinology. Our admitting doctor was Eva Tsalikian, MD, and nurse was Jeanne Sheetz, RN. Their knowledge was overwhelming and so was the new lifestyle we would be taking on with our 15-month-old. We were there for three days to pack in as much training information as possible. After leaving we had daily calls with our nurse to make sure things were going as well as could be expected. The calls kept on, maybe got a little less frequent until we were completely comfortable – but the phone line is always open no matter what time of day or night, no matter what the question may be.

Almost four years later the communication is still amazing! We have check-ups every three months and Katie Larson Ode, MD, and Jeanne Sheetz, RN, have become part of our family. We have a bond that it is hard to explain but it the most reassuring thing a mother of a Type 1 diabetes (T1D) patient could ever ask for.

Our most recent appointment was in the new clinic. The boys loved it! (Oliver has a little brother Oscar who was born just three weeks after his diagnosis.) The new interactive art boards were awesome. The ladies at the desk were so nice and they are looking forward to us visiting every three months to check on the fish!

Being at the hospital is always a pleasant time and I could go on and on. Also want to add a great relationship between UI Stead Family Children’s Hospital and JDRF. We were immediately put into contact with JDRF after Oliver's diagnosis and given lots of info, they have been another great support group for our family.

It is an awesome facility with amazing staff. We wouldn't take Oliver anywhere else. They are comforting in all scary situations. They are very knowledgeable of current research and the best technology to make living with T1D better managed and my toddler/little boy can be a kid. They respect my views. And have made every transition of the ever-changing world of T1D easy and very reassuring.

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