Type I diabetes doesn't
slow down this toddler


Everett was just 2 years old when his parents noticed that he was developing an insatiable thirst combined with frequent urination. So when Everett’s symptoms worsened and he suddenly became acutely ill, his parents rushed him to the Emergency Department at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.


There, Cottage Children’s Hospital pediatric intensivist Dr. Richard Lehman quickly confirmed that the toddler was suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis, a complication of diabetes.  Everett was admitted to the pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) and was seen by the Central Coast’s only pediatric endocrinologist and diabetologist, Dr. Cristina Candido-Vitto.


Everett remained in the PICU for three days while Cottage Children’s Hospital caregivers monitored his recovery and prepared his parents, Krista and Jason, for the life-altering changes that accompany a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes.


“It’s very scary seeing your child attached to medical equipment in intensive care,” recalls Krista.  “We are grateful to everyone at Cottage for their support and understanding.”



Ketoacidosis, the condition that led to Everett’s hospital stay, is a complication of diabetes that occurs when a shortage or lack of insulin prevents the body from using glucose for energy and fat is used instead. The breakdown of fat in the body produces toxic ketones which if untreated can lead to coma and even death in diabetic patients.


Everett recovered after treatment with insulin and intravenous fluids and he is now back to being an active, cheerful toddler. Parents Krista and Jason administer his daily insulin injections, monitor his blood glucose levels and accompany Everett to his regular follow-up visits with Dr. Candido-Vitto at the Grotenhuis Pediatric Multispecialty Clinic at Cotttage Children’s Hospital.


Parents Krista and
Jason tell Everett's
story >>




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The pediatric intensive care unit where Everett was treated and the outpatient clinic where he receives regular follow-up care are the only such programs between Los Angeles and the Bay Area.  In fact, prior to Dr. Candido-Vitto’s recruitment to Cottage’s Pediatric Clinic, Central Coast children who were diagnosed with type 1 diabetes had to travel long distances for follow-up care.


Cottage Children’s Hospital also provides our region’s families with a Level II neonatal intensive care unit and a dedicated inpatient pediatric unit to serve our youngest and most fragile patients.