By DL PERRIN
THE GOSHEN NEWS
At first, no one suspected anything unusual about 7-year-old Brandt Norberg’s behavior. His mother Heather noticed he was drinking a lot of water and seemed a bit tired.
“We thought it was a lingering flu-like bug,” Heather said. Unfortunately it was more than a bug that was making Brandt listless and thirsty.
Last Christmas Eve, Brandt was spending the night with his grandparents, Sherry and Rodney Frain. He and his grandfather went out together and when they got home, he called Heather. “My dad said Brandt drank three hot chocolates and when they returned home he finished off four bottles of water in less than two hours.”
Heather called her doctor, but she was in delivery.
“Her nurse told me to get him to the emergency room,” she said.
By 3 a.m., on Christmas Day, Brandt, his mother and father, Jerry, were in Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. Their pediatric diabetes division is one of the best in the country, according to Heather. She said they stayed their for days as they brought Brandt’s diabetes under control and trained her and Jerry how to give injections, read meters and design a diet regimen.
“Some things have been more difficult for him,” Heather said. “For now, he can’t spend the night at other kid’s homes because of the diet restrictions and injections. But it hasn’t affected his other activities. The coaches, teachers and the school nurse have all been wonderful. He has been going with the flow. He doesn’t throw tantrums or sulk when he is told he can’t eat something, he takes it in stride. He is also very good about letting me know when he suspects his blood sugar level is dropping.”
Brandt seems to be adjusting well to the alterations in his lifestyle. His aunt Tondra Mauck spends a lot of time with him and says he is a laid back kid.
“He has always been quiet. He entertains himself and has a great imagination,” Mauck said. “He reads, he loves playing outdoors and he is very athletic. One of his favorite activities is helping his grandpa around the farm.”
Dawn Miller is Brandt’s great-aunt and the art teacher at Topeka Elementary School. “This has been a learning experience for everyone in our family,” Miller said. “I have two kids age 10 and 6 and I keep an eye out for the symptoms. It took a few months for everything to settle in, but now my kids and his friends are all aware of what being diabetic has meant as far as necessary lifestyle changes.”
Due to the medical expenses incurred by frequent trips to Indianapolis and the portions of Brandt’s treatment not covered by insurance, the family is holding a fundraising pancake and sausage breakfast and bake sale from 6 to 10 a.m. Saturday at the Shipshewana Flea Market Restaurant.
Donations will be accepted for breakfast and a cash donation fund has been set up at People’s Federal Savings Bank in Howe, LaGrange and Topeka. The account is under the name of Tondra Mauck for Brandt Norberg.
Donations of baked goods are being accepted. For more information call (260)499-0664.