Family struggles with boy’s Type 1 diabetes



Evan Brugman was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes this fall, and the family is struggling to meet the cost of treating the disease. PHOTO COURTESY OF REBECCA BRUGMAN

Evan Brugman was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes this fall, and the family is struggling to meet the cost of treating the disease.
PHOTO COURTESY OF REBECCA BRUGMAN

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Rebecca Brugman soon realized that her 10-year-old son Evan had something much more serious than a “stomach bug.”

“His conversation and coordination were slipping, and he was having bouts of hyperventilating and intense stomach pain,” she recalled. “Then he couldn’t focus his eyes and started talking about time travel.”

Brugman called for an ambulance, which took Evan to Mount Desert Island Hospital in Bar Harbor. He was then taken by LifeFlight helicopter to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, where he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

That was Oct. 20. He spent the next few days in intensive care.

Evan now gives himself insulin injections four times a day.

“He has stabilized very well,” Brugman said. “He said, ‘Mom, not everyone comes out of the hospital. This is just chemistry, not cancer.’ He is remarkable.”

But the costs associated with Evan’s condition and care are high, and Brugman is struggling to meet them. To help with those expenses, the Evan Brugman Fund has been set up at Bar Harbor Bank & Trust. Donations to the fund may be sent to the bank at P.O. Box 689, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679.

Donations also are being accepted at all BHB&T locations.

Meanwhile, the Brugman family is facing another challenge. They were notified Nov. 19 that they are being evicted from the house they have rented for the past eight years. They have to be out by Dec. 12.

Brugman said she and her three children – Evan, Charlotte, 13, and Isaiah, 6 – have a place to stay in Bass Harbor this winter, thanks to “gracious friends.” The children will continue going to Pemetic Elementary School in Southwest Harbor.

Brugman is a hypnotherapist and works at a restaurant in Southwest Harbor. She used to be a teacher, and she studied holistic healing for 10 years.

“I have used those practices with my kids all their lives,” she said. “My goal when all this is settled down is to create a holistic education center for children with chronic conditions.”

Brugman said the problems she and her family are experiencing are just “a transition.”

“I strongly believe that when pushed over the edge, all you can do is enjoy the ride as you fall into God’s hands.”

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. [email protected]

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