Allen Heck - 20 year old diabetic died saving girl

This is such a sad story of a young man, Allen Heck, who has become a hero in many peoples eyes after saving a 9-year old girl who was drowning in the Cowlitz River in the southwest area of Washington state last week. What is even more sad, is that his life had gone down hill due to complications with diabetes and not being able to hold down a job that long which meant he was unable to afford treatment and medication for his diabetes. He had tried to get a disability designation in order to help afford these life sustaining items, but it just didn't seem to pan out for him.

To top that all off, his dream to serve in the Army three years ago was squashed due to being rejected because of having diabetes. After that his life seemed to spiral out of control to the point where he was living in a shelter at the time of his death,. Recently doctors had told him he’d be lucky to see his 25th year - and they’d downgraded it down to 21. Sigh, I thought it was bad enough when I was told I’d only live to see 40. Why oh why did the doctors say this to him?

How can this sort of thing happen in our country is what is going through my head right now as I read his story. It just doesn’t sound right!!! Reading about Allen’s life - so full of promise - is just a very hard thing for me to understand. It makes me weep.

To read more details of this hero - please go to this link -

May he rest in peace!

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Poor Boy. Well, he did amazingly more in just one gesture, than most People do their entire lives. Good job Allen. RIP.

I saw the first news release of this story and at that time, hours after the incident, they were already saying what a good guy he was. A bystander had been blown away at the way he just dove in and helped, then was gone. I hope he will be an inspiration to everyone who hears the story. And may noone else have to go through what he did!

wow. That is really sad.
Especially the life-sentence thing.
I was told I’d live to 40 too- my 25th bday is next month. I have much to accomplish in 15 years!

eh, I don’t believe them. I’m gonna live forever. :slight_smile:

I was told at dxs I could expect to live 20 more years. August will be my 30th anniversary. I wish they would lay off the predictions. THey feel like they need to give you hope. But I for one lived like I only had 20 years. When the end of that came and went, and I wasn’t even sick…I had to ask, what now? Ten years later I still don’t have a long term plan. My only goal is to see my girls graduate from high school and then see where we are at. The fear they put in me at eleven is still there.

Here is a young man who embodies the call for national health care. I am not a great fan of the current plans but something is better than this.

Yeah, that’s like the medpros not involved in my D care who are just dumbfounded that as a T1 I don’t have any complications. I want to just scream at them! It’s not that amazing if you’re in good control… it’s more that the majority of people they see/treat who do have diabetes just aren’t, unfortunately.

My D team however, really gives me no indication that I should expect to see any complications… at least not any time soon :slight_smile:

I just can’t believe this story.It is shocking that he didn’t get help for his diabetes.So sad!

I know there are many of us that have been told of the dreaded 40 as being our “rabbit kicked the bucket time”. I have been talking to alot of people today about this story - and they are dumb founded as most of us are. I wish he had been part of Tudiabetes - maybe we could have helped him see that things could get better.

What a brave guy…it’s just really sad that he didn’t have the support he deserved. RIP.

I have not been told a year that i will live to yet by a doctor. but i know its not for ever i just want to make it long enough to make sure my kids are old enough to care for their selves and have someone to help them. This is so sad:( At least he died doing what he loved best helping someone.

single payer healthcare

How very sad for a young man’s life to be turned upside down because of the D. No, doctors should not predict how long you will live with this disease. My doctor told me I would be blind within 15 years of my being diagnosed. I am coming up on 25 years and have glaucoma(right angle, not caused by diabetes), but still have 20/20 vision. Allen looks like he is in uniform. Was he in the army then rejected? It’s so sad…

So very sad that this had to happen. I hope where Allen is now, he is in peace. He deserves it.

Thank you for sharing this story. Allen seems like another diabetic hero who proves that we are more than a disease, strong of heart, and (if American) struggle with the effects of a system that ties coverage of illnesses to our ability to hold a job while struggling with illness. He sounds like he was a brave and troubled young man in a terrible situation. I hope his story makes its way from one Washington to the other and that, somehow, it helps other financially struggling diabetics gain access to the insulin they need.

so very sad indeed…

I don’t know what to say . …other than I feel very sad for his family with tears in my eyes …indeed a HERO gone to HEAVEN
We need to advocate with our governments …PLEASE .

Marcia - A full sized picture of Allen can be found at this link - it states that his photo “was taken during his sophomore year at R.A. Long High School when he was participating in Junior ROTC”.

A brave young man, and how sad about his life. He was definitely this young girl’s angel. There is no reason in our country a person should be denied treatment for their condition, esp. diabetes, which is easily treatable. Shameful.

I don’t get it he didn’t ask for diabetes no body did so why do we have pay to live if we don’t pay for the insulin we die where is our government how come they didn’t help him. 20 years old and he wanted to serve our country.

No, it’s very sad Angela - I weeped when I read his story. Unfortunately, companies that make the products we require to live healthy lives as diabetics, charge more then what we can afford sometimes, especially if we don’t have medical insurance, and it shouldn’t be this way! Here in Canada where I live, he would never have had this happen to him!