Kingsport school nurse saves student’s life after student collapses from diabetic seizure


KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) — A 13-year-old Tri-Cities boy said he is lucky to be alive after his school nurse saved his life.

News Channel 11’s Pheben Kassahun spoke with the boy and the quick-thinking nurse who was able to perform a life-saving measure that had never been done at John Sevier Middle School.

“It was a very instant thing. It wasn’t building up. One minute, I could see then one minute I could not,” Kingston Waddell said.

Eight grade student Kingston Waddell has lived with type I diabetes since the age of 8, but he never experienced a seizure-like the one he had less than a week ago.

“I was at the bus stop and I felt like I was going low, now my sugar is falling so I was getting dizzy. I ate some snacks that I had in my backpack,” Waddell said. “Then instantly, I couldn’t see anything. My vision was a bit impaired.”

Upon learning about Kingston’s diabetic seizure, nurse Johnson said she dropped everything and sprinted to the bus stop. That is where she found Kingston laying on the ground and unconscious.

John Sevier Middle School school nurse Cassidy Johnson said, “When a diabetic goes that low and they get to a point of having a seizure and unresponsive, using the glucagon is a life-saving measure because there is no other way to get the blood sugar up at that point.”

Johnson said these types of emergencies require glucagon to be given to the diabetic as soon as possible. Checking the blood sugar should be your second response.

“Anytime when you have a type I diabetic and they have a seizure, and they become unresponsive, we automatically think they have low blood sugar. In an emergency like that, we will give glucagon. Glucagon is given if a student, or any person that has diabetes, is unable to take anything by mouth. So, that’s our safest route just to get that blood sugar up.”

“Any parent’s worse fear, but a type I mom to be out of town, and much less out of the state, and to get a call is just straight panic. I am very thankful that Cassidy was there. She’s absolutely great,” Kingston’s mother, Kat Bishop said.

Waddell and his mother are just thankful Johnson could get to him within a moment’s notice.

“She did a great job. Even though I couldn’t really tell what was happening, I’ve been told she did a great job and I’m sure she did because I am standing here right now,” Waddell said.

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