Karla's Story


When Karla Sligar was first diagnosed with diabetes, she ignored it. She was young and she didn’t believe she really had it.

Fast forward a few years and she got sick. She was living in Dallas when she had a heart attack and was taken to an area hospital. She asked to come to Parkland where she received care for her heart – and also for her diabetes.

With the help of her doctors, Karla learned about diabetes and how to take care of her health. From medications to diabetes classes, she got the treatment and attention she needed to get healthy. 

“Parkland set me straight in a very kind and gentle way,” Karla said about her diabetes diagnosis. “The doctors listened to me very well.”

To learn how to eat a healthy diet, Karla attended diabetes education classes. She said giving up sweets was one of her biggest challenges but with the information she learned in class, she said she “turned everything around.”

“I can snack on raw vegetables and enjoy that,” she reflected on her new healthy diet. In addition to a balanced diet, she has to inject herself with insulin, which has been difficult because she’s afraid of needles. “I feel better. It’s still a challenge and I’m still learning. I take it day by day.”

One of the surprising things she learned in diabetes class was how to build a healthy plate so she can eat healthy portions without depriving herself. She also learned what to do if her blood sugar crashes or if it spikes and how to measure her food. By the end of the classes, her A1C (a blood glucose measurement over a three-month period) was down and she was on the right track.

“Everything [Parkland] has done for me has just been wonderful. The doctors keep me informed. If you have a problem – go to Parkland.”

Her next challenge – quitting smoking with the help of Parkland’s smoking cessation classes. Even though it’s been difficult, she’s feeling much better.

“Parkland is a godsend. They saved my life.”

Learn about how to keep your diabetes under control.

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