HENRICO, Va. (WRIC)—A Henrico County elementary school teacher is being lauded for her actions that helped save a young student's life.
Xemir Hopkins is one lucky Kindergartener at Fair Oaks Elementary School—thanks to his teacher, Brandy Warthan. Xemir's family had no idea that the 5-year-old had a potentially deadly disease, until Warthan discovered he wasn' t acting quite right.
A few weeks ago, Warthan noticed that Xemir started using the restroom more frequently, wanted lots of water and always seemed fatigued. She notified Xemir's family that he hadn't been himself lately.
"We knew that something had to be done right away," Warthan said. "It started to become really apparent that this wasn't normal."
Xemir's mother, Shajana, set up a doctor's appointment for her son, but the next day, things took a frightening turn.
"I was reading a story and he laid down on the carpet," Warthan said. "He was more lethargic than a normal, sleepy child."
Warthan called Shajana, who rushed Xemir to the emergency room. Doctors discovered his blood sugar level was above 1,100.
"The normal range is anywhere between 80 and 120," Hopkins said.
Xemir was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, and was nearly in a diabetic coma.
"I'm getting emotional now just really thinking about it, because he's 5," Hopkins said.
She and the rest of Xemir's family know that Warthan likely saved the boy's life.
A Virginia lawmaker is fighting to educate all school officials about diabetes and how to administer insulin.
"I think something needs to be done," said Republican Delegate Mark Cole of Spotsylvania County.
After a three-day hospital stay, Xemir is back to normal, and his family is grateful.
"Don't take for granted that your children are perfectly healthy," Hopkins said.
Warthan said, "I'm just really thankful that the situation turned out the way that it did."
Xemir now takes three insulin shots a day and has his blood sugar checked five times daily. His family has also changed its eating habits.
Warthan was honored at last week's school board meeting for her actions.
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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