Meet Natalie: Springfield girl going through a life-changing medical diagnosis amid the global pandemic

Coronavirus Local Impact

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Going through a global pandemic is hard enough, but for one 9-year-old Springfield native, this has been particularly tough. Imagine having your entire world flipped upside down with a life-changing medical diagnosis.

Natalie Majkowski learned she has type 1 diabetes three weeks ago. It is a non-preventable, irreversible disease where the body’s immune system attacks insulin-producing cells. The disease requires constant management with insulin. She was so tired she slept through her ICU visit, which means when she woke up at home, it was a shock. 

“Uhh…, what is happening. And…the needle was short but I thought it was going to stab me.”

Usually, newly diagnosed families are trained for multiple days or weeks in doctor’s offices, and are encouraged to meet with other families going through the same thing. But amid the pandemic, Natalie’s been isolated with her family. But even without that extra support, they think staying home and not going to school has been beneficial.

“I don’t have to go to school and then someone just puts a shot like right into my body. Because like, I’m not used to it yet,” Natalie explained.

Natalie’s mother, Jessica, agreed: “I can’t imagine, like having just learned everything and putting that trust for my child, in somebody else’s hands that I’m not very familiar with.”

Regardless of this new normal, Jessica said the doctors at Baystate Health have been amazing. She’s been able to call them daily with questions. Even amid a pandemic, Natalie and her mother are grateful they were able to get her on insulin. They noticed an immediate change. 

“She was very quirky, and very goofy. And we were like — oh there she is!”

Not meeting with other people with type 1 when you’re newly diagnosed can be difficult, which is why, being a type 1 myself, I wanted to reach out: “You’re my diabuddy.”

Natalie said the reason she wanted to do this interview was to be able to tell other kids with diabetes that it’s going to be okay.

This serves as a crucial reminder that it’s still important to go to the hospital or doctor’s office when needed, even during this pandemic.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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