Culver resident credits granddaughter with saving life
CULVER — Mandy Morrison, 13, doesn’t usually spend the night at her grandma’s house on a school night. But last Monday, she did—and ended up saving her life.
Eileen Wright, a diabetic, woke up in the middle of the night coated with sweat. Her alarm bracelet was going off, signaling that her blood sugar might be dangerously low.
“Normally, I would just drink some orange juice and go back to bed,” said Wright. “But this time I was so out of it.”
Wright returned to bed, a decision that would have been fatal if Mandy hadn’t been sleeping over that night. Just an hour later, Mandy said that she suddenly awoke. When she went to check on her grandma, her bed was wet with sweat.
“She wouldn’t wake up,” remembered Mandy.
Mandy is used to her grandma’s diabetes, and attempted to force food into her mouth to bring up her blood sugar. When that didn’t work, Mandy called her mom, and then 911.
Mandy and her mother tested Wright’s blood sugar, and it was at 24 (a normal blood sugar level is 100).
“We were kind of panicking,” said Mandy.
When the paramedics arrived, they gave Wright shots that instantly boosted her blood sugar to 135.
When Wright came to, she didn’t know what had happened or even where she was.
“(The paramedics) were all in bright pink shirts (for breast cancer awareness) which didn’t help,” said Mandy, laughing.
Wright had experienced hypoglycemia, a condition in which the body’s blood sugar dips severely below normal levels. If Wright had been alone that night, she has no doubt that she would have died.
“That’s what happens, you just go deeper and deeper,” said Wright, shaking her head. “They would have found me hours later probably.”
Wright has lived alone since her husband Eddie passed away two years ago. Since his death, she has worn an alarm bracelet that vibrates when it senses the onset of hypoglycemia.
“It’s been a godsend, it really has,” said Wright. “When my husband died I thought I would be right behind him.”
Eddie, she continued, saved her life many times by forcing her to eat or drink when she needed it. Wright has managed her diabetes for 34 years by taking insulin shots and other medication, and exercising and eating healthily.
Wright is retired (she and her husband owned Wright’s Landing—now the Dandelion Bar—in Plymouth) and she now enjoys living close to her children and grandchildren. She is proud especially of Mandy, her young bodyguard. This isn’t the first time that Mandy has helped her grandma out however—Wright remembered a time when she had fallen in her driveway and then 2-year-old Mandy brought her orange juice to raise her blood sugar. The 7th grader may have big plans for her future—”She’s a volleyball star,” exclaimed Wright proudly—but she won’t ever be too busy to look out for her grandma.