Girl, 10, with Type 1 diabetes dies after blood sugar dropped during sleepover

Girl, 9, with Type 1 diabetes dies after blood sugar dropped during sleepover

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — A small town in Lawrence County is dealing with a huge loss.

Sophia Daugherty, 10, a fifth-grader with Type 1 diabetes at Laurel Elementary, died Wednesday after her blood sugar dropped suddenly during a sleepover last weekend.

The medical crisis sent her to the hospital with brain trauma.

Content Continues Below

The whole school has been praying for her recovery and now administrators, staff and young children are dealing with her loss.


"A popular little girl -- the most commonly used adjective is 'sweet' -- sweet Sophia. She's going to be sorely missed," said Superintendent Len Rich.

Sophia was a cheerleader,a softball player and a Girl Scout. With only 80 children in her grade, everyone knew her.

"Just having to deal a lot with kids, we have great staff here. Our counselors are great," said Principal Dan Svirbly. "Our high school counselors came down and helped out. We brought in community counselors. So this whole community has been here and we're just trying to support the kids and the staff as best we can."

The school district was already reeling from a severe spinal injury suffered by high school sophomore Hayden Hamilton in a football game.

Rich said there’s a reason why they call this area "Spartan strong."

"One thing we believe is it's best for us to be here together. It's normal to grieve," he said. "It's normal to cry. It's normal to feel terrible. It's normal not to understand why. But it's better that we all go through it together and we rely on one another."

Sophia's family said her organs will be donated to others.