After This Ten-Year-Old Died At A Sleepover, Her Mom Revealed That A Sugar Crash Caused Her Death

It was the perfect evening for any ten-year-old. Sophia Daugherty and her best friend, Abi Kuth, had spent the night watching films and playing outside. They cuddled up to sleep, but Sophia didn’t wake up – and her mom, Keri, said it was all because of a sugar crash.

Sophia Louise Daugherty came into the world in November of 2007, joining an older sister, Claire Elise, and undoubtedly delighting her parents, Keri and Ryan. A year later, youngest daughter Meredith Grace completed their family.

As Sophia grew up in New Castle, Pennsylvania, she became a fan of all things sporty. She loved riding her bike, playing basketball and softball, and cheerleading. The little girl also had a passion for animals and invested plenty of time studying sharks.

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At Laurel Elementary School, Sophia had started the fifth grade and hoped to take part in her grade’s choir. On the weekends, she loved to spend time with her best friend, Abi Kuth, especially if the two were having slumber parties.

It was during one of those sleepovers that Sophia’s life – and the lives of her loved ones – would drastically change. Her mom, Keri, wrote a Facebook post about the slumber party that took place at the Kuth’s house on Saturday, September 15, 2018.

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“Sophia had a blast with her best friend,” Keri wrote. She went on, “They played outside, watched movies, and made musical.ly [videos], where I saw joy on her face. She fell asleep cuddled up with her B.F.F.”

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But by morning, the Kuth family would realize that something was horribly wrong. Sophia had fallen asleep next to her best friend, but she wouldn’t wake up. Abi’s dad, Dave, performed C.P.R. on the ten-year-old and restored her heartbeat.

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An ambulance was called, and first responders then rushed Sophia to the Pittsburgh’s U.P.M.C. Children’s Hospital. It turned out that little girl had suffered a herniated brain stem and brain swelling, all because her blood sugar had crashed while she slept.

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But the severity of Sophia’s hypoglycemia had its roots in a diagnosis she had received just after she turned seven. She had a form of diabetes known as Type 1. This means that her body was not making insulin, a hormone needed to pull glucose from the blood and transfer it to the body’s cells.

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With treatment, though, many diabetes patients learn how to manage the disease. And Sophia seemed to have figured out how to care for her condition – she was thriving in all her extracurricular activities. But something had happened overnight that the ten-year-old couldn’t prevent while she slept.

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“Everything regarding Sophia’s diabetes was taken care of that night. It was NOT a sleepover where gobs of candy and chips were being consumed,” Keri wrote on Facebook. “We, along with the endocrinologist, have checked her [blood glucose] meter multiple times.”

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Sophia’s mom went on to say that her daughter “was dosed correctly” with insulin and, therefore, “NOTHING could have been done differently.” The ten-year-old’s blood sugar levels dropped without warning, which caused such traumatic damage to her brain.

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As Sophia clung to life in the hospital, her family posted tributes and calls for prayer on social media. Many of the reports delivered by doctors were “life-crushing,” according to Keri, but she believed “there [was] a miracle waiting for Sophia.”

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Meanwhile, Sophia’s classmates at Laurel Elementary dealt with the shock of her hospitalization. There were only 80 students in her fifth-grade class, so she was known by all – and well-liked, Len Rich, the school’s superintendent told Pittsburgh’s WPXI News.

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“A popular little girl, the most commonly used adjective is ‘sweet,’ sweet Sophia,” Rich said. To show their support for the kind-hearted girl, members of the Laurel community held a vigil in the school’s gym on September 18, 2018.

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During the vigil, speaker James Henderson talked about Sophia’s happy-go-lucky attitude. He also reminded the community of Sophia’s optimistic nature. Indeed, according to local newspaper New Castle News, he said she “would want everyone to be hopeful and happy.”

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Those words would carry even more weight later that day. In fact, just hours after the end of the vigil, Sophia passed away. It had been only four days since her sleepover with Abi. The elementary school’s principal, Dan Svirbly, immediately stepped in with counselors “to support the kids and staff as best we can,” he told WPXI News.

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Rich added that it was important to encourage the students to show their emotions following the loss of their classmate. “One thing we believe is [that] it’s best for us to be here together. It’s normal to grieve,” he said.

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The superintendent went on, “It’s normal to cry [and] to feel terrible. It’s normal not to understand why. But it’s better that we all go through it together and rely on one another,” he concluded.

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Sophia’s family, of course, struggled to come to terms with the loss of their ten-year-old daughter and sister. Mom Keri shared on Facebook that she was “trying SO HARD to be strong.” But they did have one bit of silver lining to hold on to. The little girl was, in fact, an organ donor, so she gave several other children the gift of life.

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