From collapsing in A&E to 100-mile fundraiser - Skye's diabetes story

Skye Norton, 10, of Wymondham, and her family, mum Kelly Harper; stepdad Tom Niblock; brothers Harvey Norton, 13, and...

Skye Norton, 10, of Wymondham, and her family, mum Kelly Harper; stepdad Tom Niblock; brothers Harvey Norton, 13, and Jackson Niblock, take on the 100 Challenge for JDRF. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Having been rushed to hospital with a life-threatening condition, a 10-year-old Wymondham girl is now completing a 100-day fundraising challenge with family and friends. 

Skye Norton, of Greenland Avenue, was diagnosed with type one diabetes in July after collapsing as she entered the accident and emergency department at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital.

The Barnham Broom Primary School pupil has now gathered a team together to cover 100 miles in 100 days in aid of type one diabetes research charity JDRF.

Skye's mother Kelly Harper first noticed there was a problem when her usually active daughter was lying on the sofa all day feeling tired and getting upset during the first lockdown. 

After she became severely sick, Miss Harper phoned 101 and agreed to take her daughter to hospital. 

Skye Norton, 10, of Wymondham is taking on the 100 Challenge for type one diabetes charity JDRF.

Skye Norton, 10, of Wymondham, and her family, mum Kelly Harper; stepdad Tom Niblock; brothers Harvey Norton, 13, and Jackson Niblock - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Skye was taken to the hospital's resuscitation room after she collapsed in order to get her blood back to normal levels. 

Miss Harper said: "The blood sugars were so high, it was starting to eat away at some of the organs. If they tried to get the blood levels to normal too quickly it could have caused brain damage so they had to go at a slow pace.

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"She was not allowed anything to eat and was extremely dehydrated. Skye also could not feel her legs properly and there were pains in them so quite a few doctors and nurses were around at the time to massage and calm her to get her in a stable condition." 

Having recovered, Miss Harper said her daughter has taken it in her stride and she is now running every day until May 7 for JDRF's 100 Challenge to mark 100 years since insulin was first discovered by Frederick Banting and his laboratory partners. 

Skye Norton, 10, of Wymondham, who is raising funds for diabetes research charity JDRF with her family and friends.

Skye Norton, 10, of Wymondham, who is raising funds for diabetes research charity JDRF with her family and friends - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

A team of more than 21 people are joining in with the challenge, including Skye's brothers Harvey, 13, and Jackson, four. The team is called Skye's Type One Tigers and also includes friends, cousins and grandparents, who are walking every day for the cause. 

The challenge started at the end of January, and the team have been going out every day regardless of the weather conditions. 

Skye rarely complains about her diabetes and wants to raise awareness about the signs of type one, which are feeling tired, losing weight, drinking large amounts and regularly needing the toilet.

Skye has learnt to measure the amount of food she eats every day, and was given a teddy bear called Rufus while she was in hospital which helps children understand diabetes and how to inject insulin.

Miss Harper said: "One of the biggest things for Skye is being in a situation with her friends, especially at Christmas when food is brought out and she has to wait 20 minutes to eat it. 

"Another big challenge is keeping on target with blood levels because if it goes too high there will be complications down the line and if it is too low, she could become unconscious or have a seizure. 

"It's like walking a tightrope where you just need to find that balance." 

Miss Harper recalls being told her daughter had a life-threatening condition when she was rushed to hospital in July.

Skye Norton, 10, of Wymondham, and her family, mum Kelly Harper; stepdad Tom Niblock; brothers Harvey Norton, 13, and...

Skye Norton, 10, of Wymondham, and her family, mum Kelly Harper; stepdad Tom Niblock; brothers Harvey Norton, 13, and Jackson Niblock, four. - Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Miss Harper's partner Tom had to wait in the car park with trepidation as he received updates through his phone.

"We were in complete shock and could not believe it was happening to us," Miss Harper said. "It suddenly comes out of the blue and you do fear the worst, especially when you ask if she will be okay and you do not get a definitive answer. I have never been in that position before.

"You feel helpless when your daughter is in a dangerous situation, and even though there is the best team around her, you know it could go either way.

"The staff were just incredible and we are forever grateful. Skye is such a strong child. It has been a change of lifestyle not just for her, but for the whole family." 

To find out more about JDRF's 100 Challenge and to donate to Skye's fundraising page, go to https://jdrf1.enthuse.com/pf/skye-s-type1-tigers

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