Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt
Children's Hospital Logo
Connect With Us:

Monroe Carell Jr.
Children's Hospital
at Vanderbilt
2200 Children's Way
Nashville, TN 37232

(615) 936-1000

Children's Hospital Logo
Printer friendly version of this page  E-mail someone a link to this pageBookmark and Share  Open RSS Feed
Meet Jackson

More Patient Stories:  

Like many families, the Cravens never saw diabetes coming. There was no family history and no warning, so when their son Jackson was diagnosed with type 1 in January of this year, it threw them for a loop.

"We'd never really been around a diabetic; we've never had anybody in our family who's diabetic," said Laura Craven, Jackson's mother. "My husband and I thought we were going to have to change our diet: ‘This is going to be hard on everybody; what are we going to eat?'"

The true story has been much brighter. It's brought them closer together as a family. There have been adjustments and lots of learning, yes, but diabetes is a long way from the end of the world.

For Jackson, it started last fall: he felt grumpy and thirsty all the time. He usually had an easygoing attitude, but officials at his school noticed he seemed unusually tired.

At the time, "I didn't feel sick," said Jackson, 13, "but when I started taking insulin I realized that back then I felt pretty bad."

The family's pediatrician referred them straight to Vanderbilt after tests showed evidence of diabetes. They had an hour or so to go home and pack before they left for the E.R. at Monroe Carell Jr. Children's Hospital at Vanderbilt.

"The whole thing was overwhelming and scary," said Jackson. "I really didn't know what was going to happen."

But after doctors, nurses and staff spoke with the family and explained what was going to happen, he started to feel better.

"They told me that I didn't have to give up everything," said Jackson. "I just have to take more insulin for what I eat."

That was good news for a kid who loves his Kit-Kats. Still, the family decided it was time to change the way they ate.

"We try to keep all our eating at mealtime rather than grazing during the day," said Laura. "In general, it's made us closer as a family. It's amazing how something like that will bring you all together. It goes back to sitting together as a family (at mealtime)."

Today, Jackson has fun playing soccer and basketball and hanging out with his family on the lake.

"You realize not to sweat the small stuff after you have an experience like this," said Laura. "We just make it work. He plays soccer, and he's out there on the sidelines checking his blood. It's just part of our routine now."

Search Patient Stories:
Valued Participant of Vanderbilt Health Affiliated Network