Statement of Ken and Leyanne Harper, Abbie Harper’s Parents

December 16, 2014

Abbie was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 16, a disease whose effects are only clearly understood by those families who are affected.  Abbie was very determined to pursue her dreams and not let the disease get in the way.  She was intelligent as well as competitive, excelling at Maryville High School in Maryville, Tennessee in athletics and academics, at Miami University of Ohio in its Honors program, and in her 2L year at The University of Chicago Law School at the time of her death.

Abbie trusted and relied upon her diabetic test strips and glucose monitor.  They were her lifeline.  We hope this lawsuit makes the diabetic community more aware of the products that we believe failed Abbie, products she trusted to keep her alive.  These products were recalled at various intervals from 4 days to 3 months after her death.  Unfortunately, it is too late to save Abbie’s life, but we hope it is not too late to protect other people from unrecognized erroneous blood sugar readings and even death.

As with any family that has tragically experienced the death of a child, there are NO words to describe the excruciating pain.   Our daughter, Abbie, was extraordinary, not just to us, but also the countless people that were eager to share stories with us of her selflessness, encouragement, and friendship.  We, her family, are not the only ones who will continue to suffer.   Abbie was pursuing her dream of a law degree at The University of Chicago and planned to use her intelligence, generosity, kindness and selflessness as an attorney dedicated to helping those who could not help themselves. 

Her heart was huge, and she had already made an enormous impact on the lives she had touched with her contagious personality, smile and servant’s heart.  There is nothing, other than our faith in God, that can heal our hearts for the monumental loss of Abbie’s life.