• 52°

Dog rescues Aid Township woman

AID — It was about 5 o’clock Tuesday morning and Glea Cartmell thought she had at least another hour or two to sleep.

After all, this week’s Monday for the production laborer at RIC in South Point had definitely turned into a typical

— and exhausting — Monday.

But her small terrier Sadie Mae had other ideas. Sadie knew there was something wrong in the house and she was going to warn her mistress.

“Sadie crawled up in the couch with me and started nipping at me, biting and tugging at the blanket,” Cartmell said. “For someone wanting to wake me, she was really trying.”

Down the hall from where Cartmell was sleeping, her daughter Leslie Malone was sprawled on the floor in the last stages of an insulin reaction.

Cartmell, who will celebrate her 26th birthday next Thursday, has battled Type 1 diabetes since she was 4, giving herself the vital insulin shots on a daily basis.

A further health challenge for the cosmetology student has been her pregnancy, which has also caused fluctuations in her blood sugar level.

“’ What do you want, Sadie,’ Cartmell asked. “She kept barking and going back to the room where Leslie was sleeping. She kept barking up and down the hall.”

Following the dog to her daughter’s room, the mother found her daughter.

“She had had an insulin reaction and had rolled out of bed. When Leslie has one of these reactions, she has no control. She’s lifeless like,” Cartmell said.

An insulin reaction is the opposite of a diabetic coma and occurs when the body has too much insulin.

Cartmell screamed for her other daughter, Stephanie, 15 and a half, to call the paramedics.

“She was almost completely gone. Her speech gets real slurred like a drunk,” the mother said, who was unable to get her daughter off the floor by herself.

“Sadie was going beserk,” Cartmell said as she waited for the squad.

“It took them about three minutes, but it seemed like an eternity,” she said.

Malone’s blood sugar, which has a normal range of between 70 to 180, had dipped to 39. Cartmell, who has a nursing degree, and the paramedics, treated the young woman with Instaglucose, a substance the consistency of toothpaste that is squirted in the mouth.

In about five minutes Malone’s blood sugar level started to head back to the normal range, all the while the 20-pound Sadie Mae kept watch.

“I cry every time I look at her,” Cartmell says about her dog. “Some people think dogs are a hazard. If I didn’t have her, I wouldn’t have Leslie. In 10 more minutes she would have been gone.”