Family of Antonio Salas speaks out about diabetes

FULTONDALE, Ala. (WIAT) — A grieving family is preparing to bury a beloved father and grandfather. Antonio Salas went missing from his Fultondale home Aug. 2.

While his family desperately searched for over two weeks, Salas’ bed stayed empty and his beloved vegetable garden went unattended.

On Aug. 14, Salas’ body was discovered by his grandson in the woods less than a mile from his home.

Salas’ daughter, Lori Pieger, said the coroner believes he became tired and confused and possibly slipped into a diabetic coma. They believe he went to sleep next to a tree in the woods and did not know that he was dying.

Now blue flowers mark the wooded area on Leora Avenue where he was found.

Salas’ family is sharing his story in hopes that no other family will have to go through the trauma of losing a loved one to diabetes.

“We feel that Dad was very disoriented because his blood sugar was not managed that day,” Pieger said.

“I just wish that people who do have diabetes, or people who have diabetes run in their family, that they are hyper aware and diligent about taking care of each other and making sure that medications are taken on time and keeping all that blood sugar regulated. He was a very healthy man other than the diabetes,” said Pieger.

Doctor J.W. Pitts Jr., a diabetic specialist with ACIPCO Medical Group, Inc., confirms that diabetic patients should be extra diligent monitoring their blood sugar even when they say that are feeling fine.

“Your blood sugar can go up after missing just one dose on medicine. With this time of year, in terms of how hot it is, we sweat a lot and we get more dehydrated. Our blood sugars go up and it can put us in a situation of what we call hyperosmolar which can cause problems with the cerebrum and being able to think,” said Pitts.

He recommends that family and caretakers monitor medications to make sure that their loved one is taking the proper amount each day.

Antionio’s funeral is this Friday, Aug. 22 at 10:30 a.m. at St Henry Church in Warrior Alabama, which is located at 511 5th St.

The family also plans to restore his vegetable garden in his honor.

Copyright WIAT 42 2014

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