Grid girl who appeared on The Real Housewives of Cheshire reveals she needs a kidney transplant after complications with type 1 diabetes that also left her blind in one eye
- Khloe Atkinson, 32, from Stoke-on-Trent was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 21
- After 10 years of no symptoms, she was hit by a catalog of problems
- Khloe, who worked as a grid girl, now needs a kidney transplant
A grid girl and a part-time model have revealed how she was knocked down with a catalog of medical issues that left her blind in one eye and in need of a kidney transplant.
Khloe Atkinson, 32, of Norton Heights, Stoke-on-Trent, had been living with type 1 diabetes for 10 years without experiencing any symptoms.
But that changed in February when she lost sight in her right eye, and a week later was told she had kidney failure.
Now, Khloe – who takes 30 tablets a day and is on dialysis – remains at Royal Stoke University Hospital today after being placed in an induced coma earlier this month.
Of her latest medical setback, Khloe said, “Diabetes is in the family – my father, brother and grandparents have it all. I was diagnosed at the age of 21 and at that age all my friends went out to party, drink cocktails and I didn’t want to miss anything.
Khloe Atkinson, 32, from Stoke-on-Trent, was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 21. After ten years without symptoms, she is now afflicted with serious medical problems
“But diabetes is a silent killer and it kills your organs without you knowing. I made contacts one morning after going to the gym and my vision was blurry like looking through frosted glass.
“I just assumed I had them misplaced, so I went home to get my glasses and when I put them on, my eyesight didn’t change. After an emergency appointment, I was diagnosed with macular edema and now have no vision in my right eye and partial vision in my left eye.
“About a week later, I went to the doctor because I had a severe headache and nosebleeds. I saw my doctor at 10 AM one morning and at 8:30 PM he called to say I was playing with him and he thought I should seek emergency treatment.
“I went to the hospital and was diagnosed with kidney failure. My kidneys are now working at eight percent and I am on dialysis until I can find a donor. ‘
Now, Khloe – who takes 30 tablets a day and is on dialysis – remains at the Royal Stoke University Hospital (pictured) today after being placed in an induced coma earlier this month
Khloe spent her days spitting fire, corner sheds and stilt walks in her role as a part-time model.
She has worked on shows such as The Real Housewives of Cheshire and as a grid girl for Honda and Formula 1.
But she has been forced to give up her job because of her condition and says it is “heartbreaking” not to be able to do what she loves most.
She said, “It has been very difficult and the diagnosis has not fully penetrated.
“I’m a part-time model and a grid girl and I love it, it’s not a job. You may look glamorous, but I don’t feel like it now.
“It is heartbreaking, I have been a professional dancer since I was eighteen and appeared on several TV shows and now I have a tube hanging from my stomach. It’s frustrating because I’ve always worked. ‘
Khloe and friend Dean Smith, who she says has been a great support during this time
Due to the coronavirus, Khloe was unable to get visitors to the hospital. Her friends – Kayleigh Fyfe and Charlie George – have sat outside her window to keep her company.
She added, “It was hard to get visitors, but my friends came to the hospital window and sat outside and talked to me. My friend Dean and my family have also been a great support. ‘
Now Kayleigh and Charlie have one GoFundMe page to help Khloe with her bills and to pay for the equipment she needs at home.
The fundraiser has exceeded £ 6,300.
WHAT IS TYPE 1 DIABETES AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT FOR PATIENTS TO CHECK IT?
Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that causes the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas to be destroyed, preventing the body from producing enough insulin to regulate blood glucose.
Type 1 diabetes patients are often recommended to test their blood sugar levels at least four times a day.
If the amount of glucose in the blood is too high, it can seriously damage the body’s organs over time. If it is too low under severe conditions, it can lead to patients falling into a coma.
Type-1 is sometimes referred to as juvenile diabetes, but the term is considered obsolete because the condition can develop at any age.
Patients diagnosed with type 1 are treated with insulin and should monitor their sugar intake.
Blood sugar levels should be between 3.5 and 5.5 mmol / L before meals and less than 8 mmol / L two hours after meals.
Low blood sugar levels, hypoglycemia, (when the blood sugar level falls below 4 mmol / L) can in severe cases sometimes lead to patients falling into a coma.
However, it can usually be treated by eating or drinking 15-20 g of fast-acting carbohydrates, such as 200 ml of Lucozade Energy Original.
Sufferers can see that they experience a hypo when they suddenly feel tired, have trouble concentrating, or feel dizzy.
Type 1 diabetes patients are more likely to have a hypo because of the medications they take, including insulin.
High blood sugar levels, hyperglycemia, (when the blood sugar level is higher than 11.0 mmol / L two hours after a meal) can also cause life-threatening complications.
It happens when the body either has too little insulin, seen in type 1, or is unable to use the supply properly, usually in type 2.
In the short term, it can lead to conditions like ketoacidosis, releasing ketones into the body.
If left untreated, hyperglycemia can lead to long-term complications, such as impotence and limb amputations.
Regular exercise over time can help lower blood sugar, and a healthy diet and good meal planning can also prevent dangerous spikes.
Kayleigh, 32, said, “Khloe is a big, bubbly character and it is quite shocking to see it deteriorate so quickly. It’s terrible because she’s like a sister to me.
“We can’t visit her and we feel like there’s nothing we can do. So the fundraiser is to raise money to make sure Khloe has everything she needs to live a comfortable life when she gets to go home. ‘
In an update to the fundraising page four days ago, Kayleigh wrote, “It’s been a tough week for the family with a lot of up and down. Khloe had had painful headaches and attacks.
“As we told you before they put her to sleep and performed an MRI where they discovered a swelling in her brain. They anesthetized her on Friday, but she is not yet fully awake.
However, for the past two days, she has tried to open her eyes when people call her name and respond when they squeeze her arm. They’ve also started dialysis in the past week, so it’s finally starting to go in the right direction. ‘