Please join us in sending good thoughts to former GENERAL HOSPITAL child star Ella Hulen (ex-Donna), who recently had a health emergency. The two-year-old spent a few days in the hospital in late January before her parents received news that changed their lives forever.
“It’s been one of the toughest weeks of our lives,” her parents shared on January 30 in a video posted to the Instagram account that Ella shares with her twin sister, Emma. “Last Monday, Ella was admitted to the pediatric ICU in DKA.”
DKA stands for diabetic ketoacidosis, which is what happens when your body doesn’t have enough insulin to use sugar for energy. When there’s not enough insulin to turn to glucose to fuel your body, your body instead starts breaking down fat to use for energy. When that happens, your body releases ketones into the bloodstream, which causes your blood to turn acidic.
Thankfully, Hulen’s parents got the toddler to the hospital before the situation became life-threatening, and she was ultimately diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. Also known as juvenile diabetes, Type 1 typically develops during childhood or adolescence, and patients manage the condition with a daily insulin treatment to keep the body’s blood sugar levels in a healthy range.
“As a family, we are grieving,” her parents continued in the text that accompanied the video. “Grieving over this diagnosis and what it will mean for Ella, and for our whole family. But we are still grateful. Grateful that we have this precious baby to love always, grateful for her strength, and for hope.”
Together with her twin, Ella joined the cast of GH as an infant, playing the role of Sonny and Carly’s daughter from September 2019 until April 2020. Donna was hit with a case of SORAS while Sonny was presumed dead, and is now played by Ava Rose.
Set to the audio of a sermon about having faith in God despite trial, the video of Ella included various clips of her in the hospital, sleeping and playing, and then ultimately reuniting with her sister at the end. “Praise God for giving us these two precious children,” Hulen’s parents concluded in the accompanying text, “and for family.”
We are so glad to hear that Ella is back at home, and we are sending her a virtual hug and healing thoughts!