Insulin Pump Helps Woman Escape Kidnapping

Brittany Diggs used the light of her pump to get away from her abductor.



In an incredible turn of events, a nursing student with diabetes escaped a kidnapping because she was wearing an insulin pump.

According to a report on the TODAY Show, Brittany Diggs was abducted outside her apartment in Birmingham, Alabama. She said she told her abductor that she didn’t have much money, so her abductor forced her to drive him throughout the city as he attempted two other robberies. He then took her ATM card and tried to get money out of several ATM machines. All the while, he repeatedly threatened to kill her.

Things got scarier when the man forced Diggs into the trunk of her car, and drove to another gas station to try another ATM machine. She said he threatened to kill her if he wasn’t able to use the card this final time. Fortunately, Diggs remembered that some cars come equipped with latches on the inside of trunks. She then used the light on her insulin pump to find that latch. She was able to open the latch and then jump out as her abductor began to pull out of the gas station.

The surveillance video that captured her escape seems to show the pump falling onto the ground as she leaps from the moving car. It is unclear from the news report what brand of pump Diggs used for light. The report shows a blue, older model Medtronic MiniMed, but the camera shot is isolated to hands and the pump, so it’s impossible to know if this is stock footage or Diggs’ own pump.

According to the report, Diggs was left understandably traumatized from the incident and has refused to go back to the apartment where she was abducted. Her friends have set up a GoFundMe campaign to help defray costs associated with this incident.

This is the only time I have come across when diabetes care gear has been utilized to help in emergency situations other than for diabetes. If you have any instances when diabetes needles, meters, pumps, CGMs, or glucagon kits were used in such a situation, I’d love to hear about it. You can email me at cidlebrook@selfrx.com.

You can donate to Brittany Diggs’ GoFundMe campaign here: https://www.gofundme.com/3isvd4o.

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Craig Idlebrook is managing editor for Insulin Nation and Type 2 Nation. He's written about health policy, environmental health, community health, and maternal health for over 25 publications. You can reach him at cidlebrook@epscomm.com.