Support for Those Living with Adrenal Insufficiency

Emergency Protocols Saved My Daughter

Emergency Protocols Saved My Daughter
by Laura Adderholt

This is my daughter Anna, a spunky 6 year old little girl who is full of life.

Anna was born with a rare genetic condition that causes her to be adrenal insufficient, she also has Skeletal Dysplasia and Perthes Disease of the right hip.  This bone disease causes the ball joint to die and she lives with chronic pain everyday.  Due to the inability of her body to make stress hormones to deal with her chronic pain, Anna faces adrenal crisis often!

September 2011 was Anna’s first year of kindergarten she was loving every minute of it!  It was also exhausting on her mentally, emotionally and physically.  One morning before her 6:30 a.m. dose Anna crawled into my bed.   After a few minutes I knew something was really wrong when she started shaking. It was dark in my room and I was disoriented not knowing what was going on.  I turned on the lights and saw something I never want to experience EVER again!

Anna’s eyes were rolled back in her head and she was having a massive seizure.  I ran and got her Solu-Cortef® injection and gave it to her while my husband called 911.  Although the EMS arrived within about 10-15 minutes, it seemed like hours.  I just held my little girl who had become unconscious.  Her heart was beating hard and fast and I prayed the paramedics would hurry.  When they finally arrived they didn’t know anything about adrenal insufficiency and didn’t know what to do.  I showed them the solu-cortef and they responded “We cant give her that!”  I said “I know, I already did!”  Anna’s blood sugar it was 17 so they gave her glucose and got her in the ambulance.

The ride to the hospital was the longest ride of my life!

After we arrived and I watched them pull my little girl out the back of the ambulance I thought she was gone…Her skin was grey, her lips were blue and she was still unconscious.  My heart sunk.

annahospitalAnna was wheeled her into our children’s emergency room and was met by her special team of physicians and nurses.  They’d cared for her since she was a baby and through many visits to their ER.  They had emergency protocols in place to treat her and started care immediately giving her an IV and another shot of Solu-Cortef®.  This immediate and proper treatment for Anna’s adrenal crisis saved her life!

Three hours after her arrival to the emergency room, she came around!  The first words Anna said were “Get that bright light out of my eyes!”  I have never been so relieved in my whole life!!!

In order to determine the cause of her adrenal crisis, she’d had no fever or sickness before the crisis, Anna was kept in the hospital for a few days.  X-rays of her hips showed that her right ball joint had shattered and during that night.  Anna’s adrenal insufficiency and inability to make extra hydrocortisone to cover the stress to her body had caused the crisis and we’d almost lost her!

Anna’s now on pain management and uses a wheelchair when needed.  It’s so scary  to never know when her body needs a “little extra”, but Anna has a very high pain threshold and doesn’t complain.  We keep a close eye on her and are always watching for other signs of crisis.


From Adrenal Insufficiency United:  Please visit your local EMS Stations and talk with the Directors of your ER’s.  We also have emergency kits for both patients an Health Care Providers.

Order an EMS Kit for your Fire Chief or School Nurse   Order one for yourself in our online store.

AIU is a tax exempt 501(c)(3), we rely on donations to carry out our work on awareness and implementaion of emergency protocols.  If you are able to help contribute we appreciate donations of any size.

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