Hannah Peterson says her world is “overwhelming at times.” For most of the last year, her husband has been serving in Afghanistan as a Navy reservist.
During that time Hannah has been taking care of their daughters on her own. The 4-, 6-, and 8-year-old girls are all bundles of mom-challenging energy.
But Hannah faces more than just the normal single-parent challenges. Last spring middle daughter Abigail was diagnosed with autism. Then, just before Christmas, doctors told Hannah her youngest daughter Emory has juvenile, or Type 1, diabetes.
“With Emmy’s diagnosis it changes everybody’s lives, hundredfold,” Hannah said.
She has learned to give daily shots, track and regulate insulin levels, and pre-pack snacks when they go anywhere so Emmy has the amount of carbs she needs to stay on track. Hannah's learning curve has been dramatically steep.
“Sometimes I don’t really know how I keep up," said Hannah. "I just do what I have to do and push on to the next thing.”
Hannah will have a little more help now. LTJG Bradley Peterson just arrived home after finishing his deployment in Afghanistan, where he trained local forces in the art of military supply.
Hannah and the girls made special signs and were at the gate to swamp him with love when he walked off the plane.
For Brad the situation has been frustrating from a distance, knowing the challenges his wife was facing alone and knowing his baby girl Emmy has to deal with a life-changing, lifelong medical condition.
“It’s obviously tough to hear about,” he said in an airport interview, draped with daughters. “You can’t do anything about it. But I’m excited to learn about it and find out what I can do to help my wife take care of her.”